New Fire Station Ribbon Cutting Published Jan. 19, 2012 By Tech. Sgt. David Speicher 175th Wing BALTIMORE -- The Maryland Air National Guard celebrated the opening of the new Martin State Airport/Maryland Air National Guard Crash Fire Rescue Station with a ribbon cutting ceremony here today, Jan. 19th. Maj. Gen. James A. Adkins, the adjutant general for the Maryland National Guard hosted the ceremony. "This is a great facility that they have waited many years," said General Adkins. He said the fire station will support the airport and the surrounding community. He said the new $7.1 million building will provide the firefighter with a better place to train and work. "We as leaders need to provide them with the best facilities possible," said General Adkins. "It's a great day today, a day that would not have come without the support of Congressman Ruppersberger," said General Adkins. U.S. Congressman C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger, Maryland's 2nd District Representative, was instrumental in getting the funding for the new fire station. "It was a needed project to protect the base and support the community." The old fire station was two buildings that could not fit all the equipment in it. There was no ventilation for the fire trucks and training was held in the sleeping quarters. "It's not just about the building, it's about personnel," said Ruppersberger about the needed upgrade. While standing in the apparatus bay Ruppersberger said, "This is new, it has that new car smell. This is a special day, great facilities." It can house eight pieces of equipment. Master Sgt. Wayne Viands, base fire chief, talked about the improvements over the old fire station. "The biggest asset is in the ability to have all our equipment in one building. Before, we had equipment in two buildings." Viands said the new building has a classroom that sits 40 people, while the old building could only seat six comfortably. The new building also has a new dispatch center. The new building has 21,000 square feet. "With the overall square footage, the guys can spread out and do their job effectively instead of tight quarters," said Viands.