4676 Hodgson Rd
North Oaks, MN
5545 Lexington Ave N
3615 Victoria St
Remodeled: 2005, 2012
Future Station Project
The Lake Johanna Fire Department has served Arden Hills, North Oaks and Shoreview and their now approximately 42,000 residents since 1943. The 2019 Annual Report shows the department responded to 3,820 calls in 2019 and is projecting to surpass 6,000 calls by 2026 based on current data trends and pending development projects. The department has evolved from Paid-On-Call (POC) to a combination of career and part-time positions. The approximately 80 employees provide 24/7 coverage through a “duty crew” program which allows firefighters to respond immediately from their respective stations decreasing response times and increasing their effectiveness. As the department continues to evolve, a needs study was commissioned by the Lake Johanna Fire Dept Board of Directors to assist in planning for the future. Please reference our Coverage Area and Station Locations maps.
The needs study, conducted by Buetow 2 Architects, found the fire department did not have adequate space or facilities and noted several shortcomings with Station 4 (3615 Victoria St, Shoreview) including, but not limited to: it was not designed for full-time staffing, the trucks were smaller when the station was designed, no room for expansion, no support spaces or additional storage spaces, and no training or de-contamination spaces. The study recommended the fire department construct a new station with adequate space and facilities to last the department the next 50 years and close Station 4 which would roll responsibility of the site back to the City of Shoreview who initially built and owns the property.
The recommended location was between Lexington Ave. and Snelling Ave. along County Road E. The fire department researched potential locations and based on its size, location, and current development status highlighted the property to the north of the Anderson Center on Pine Tree Dr. as their first choice. Another key factor was the safety of the site for both citizens and responders regarding access as the current stations have significant cross-traffic and Pine Tree Drive would be a drastically less busy street. Mapping software was also used to analyze response times to find an equitable balance to both southern corners of the fire department’s response area. Please reference the response time maps for the current and future station locations.
Multiple steps of approvals were needed throughout this process. These included approvals for the needs study, different preliminary design stages with the architect, direction to initiate discussion with Bethel University, etc. Prior to receiving further approval and direction from the Board of Directors regarding the land purchase, the fire department was directed to meet with all three city councils regarding the project. Multiple presentations and interactive meetings were held with each council independently both prior to and during the COVID-19 pandemic. At the conclusion of these presentations there was unanimous consent from all members of all three councils to proceed with the land acquisition.
At the direction of the board of directors, the fire department began discussions with Bethel University about potentially selling a piece of their property to the Lake Johanna Fire Department. Bethel was open to selling a piece of their property and hired a real estate consultant to assist them in the negotiations. Following negotiations, a letter of intent (LOI) was reached between the fire department and Bethel, which outlined major points in the deal. Those major points were included in the Purchase Agreement which was brought forward to the Lake Johanna Board of Directors on May 20, 2020 for discussion followed by approval. The board directed the Fire Chief to sign a purchase agreement with Bethel University.
Funding of a new fire station would be paid for by the cities of Arden Hills, North Oaks and Shoreview. The cities pay their proportional share of the fire department’s operating and capital budgets based on a formula which considers each city’s calls for service over a three-year period as well as other metrics. The current formula results in the following financial split: Arden Hills – 25%, North Oaks – 14% and Shoreview – 61%. Each city decides how to fund its cost for fire protection, but these funds typically come from a city’s general fund.
The Lake Johanna Fire Department currently staffs two stations 24/7. Station 2 at 4676 Hodgson Road, and Station 4 at 3615 Victoria Street. The long-range plan is to add 24/7 staffing to Station 3 at 5545 Lexington Ave. as there is an increase in call volume due to future development. The Administrative Staff are on more typical weekday hours.
Frequently Asked Questions
There is also Automatic Aid for any incident within a defined area of 694/35E with Little Canada and Vadnais Heights Fire Departments. Another piece of our response options is reciprocal with Roseville and Vadnais Heights Fire Departments for an initial response in the event the host department is temporarily out of resources for a critical call.
The final piece of cooperative response efforts is known as “Closest Unit Dispatching” where-as a unit from an otherwise unincluded fire department is closer than any other unit for structure fires or water emergencies; that unit is added to the standard response.
Each of these collaborative efforts is designed for the sole purpose of providing the very best service, regardless of jurisdictional boundaries. It should be noted that the typical day-to-day responses are handled solely by Lake Johanna Fire Department and the previously mentioned situations account for approximately 0.5% of the call volume.