Texas Township Fire & Rescue
The Client: Texas Township Fire & Rescue, Kalamazoo, Michigan
Furniture Manufacturer: Norix Group, Inc.
Product Solution: Titan Series Beds, Nightstands, Wardrobes, Desks
The Texas Township Fire Department serves a geographical area of 36 square miles. Although at one time the single facility served a mostly rural population, ongoing development in the area prompted expansion of the facility, which is attached to the township hall. In 2008 the township commissioned an outside consultant to evaluate operational and procedural practices, service levels and responsiveness, and the full scope of responsibilities and activities borne by a professional firefighting agency.
Prior to the study, the fire station was manned mostly by a part-time and volunteer force, with no on-site housing facilities for 24-hour staffing. The study strongly encouraged an on-site firefighting staff 24 hours a day to meet response-time standards. To do that the station needed to expand and provide additional sleeping quarters, bathrooms, and common rooms to accommodate both genders.
Once the building renovations were completed last year it came time to select furnishings for the facility’s new sleeping quarters. Firefighter Don Koop, with experience as a journeyman carpenter, was put in charge of acquisition.
Firefighter Koop first learned of Norix intensive use furniture at the Fire Department Instructors Conference (FDIC), a year earlier and had saved a product brochure – not even knowing that a short time later he would be put in charge of selecting furniture for the new facility. Then when he began an online research for furniture solutions he “re-discovered” the Norix Titan series of furniture. “I did a lot of research, and couldn’t find anything close to it”, adds Koop. “We thought it was important to have both comfort and quality. So many residential furniture pieces looked like they wouldn’t hold up – it would be a disservice to tax payers if we had to keep replacing the furniture”.
Koop contacted Norix directly to discuss layouts and options to furnish the two bedrooms with 2 beds each – one room for full-time firefighters and one for volunteers. Room sizes were fixed at 12’ x 12’ and 10’ x 14’. “We were able to fit four beds, two nightstands, a double wardrobe, three single wardrobes, and a desk into those two rooms”! Koop points out. “One of the selling points was the under-bed storage drawers that lock – which our volunteers appreciated.”
Koop adds that the room layouts changed a little during the process, like having the under-bed drawers mounted to open to the left or the right to get the most efficient furniture configuration. Titan’s flexible features provided the optimum solution to accommodate staff needs in a small space.
In addition, the expanded fire station facility was constructed utilizing as many American-made products and materials as possible. “Norix fit with that nicely – we drove from Kalamazoo, MI to West Chicago, IL and picked-up our pieces right there at the warehouse”, Koop remarked.
“The Norix people were great to work with – the warranty was important to us - everything about it just made sense”.