By Don Ford

EL GRANADA (KPIX 5) — For decades, Coastside Fire Protection District crews had to work out of a dilapidated building. But with recent the opening of a modern fire station, that era has come to an end.

The new state-of-the-art firehouse will now host the crews serving the communities near Half Moon Bay and El Granada.

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“I’m still getting used to it. I’m impressed with the functionality of it,” said Coastside Fire Protection District Battalion Chief David Cosgrave.

The biggest change may be that firefighters no longer have to back trucks into tiny garages. Now they can safely drive through large equipment bays. There is even special tempered glass in the bay doors.

The old station had one shower for everyone. The new station has three. The old firehouse kitchen was something from the ’80s, while the new station’s beautiful facilities are capable of feeding many more firefighters.

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The Coastside Fire Protection District paid nearly $13 million for the new station, but did not have to raise the funds though bonds or taxes.

“No, they paid cash, basically through savings without any bonds or special tax assessments,” Cosgrave explained.

That is a remarkable achievement in this day and age. The new station is also safely above the tsunami danger zone.

“This one is only a few blocks away from the old station, but it is not in the inundation zone,” said Cosgrave.

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El Granada and Half Moon Bay are both home to beautiful beaches popular with surfers. Now they have added fire protection.