The airy kitchen with wide counters is as big as the old firehouse's entire kitchen and TV lounge, Rieff said.
Now the firefighters have a separate room with a large TV and eight cushy chairs. An exercise room with windows and a mirror awaits a treadmill and weights. It's an upgrade from a space the crew had used in the old basement, Hunt said.
Lockers in the six bedrooms have more space than before, he said.
For now, the five-person crews adjust to their new spaces -- and to new work partners. Rieff was on duty Thursday with three other firefighters with whom he's never worked, thanks to the three-platoon system, which reconfigures the shifts and days they work.
It means that firefighters always work with the same crew, and they are dedicated to a single sort of vehicle, be it a ladder truck, engine, rescue vehicle or ambulance.
City officials had sought this for years. Firefighter and union president James Elliott said union members weren't all in favor of the three-platoon system, given the lifestyle change, but they're accepting it. It should cut back on overtime, he noted.
It also means that the shifts now synch up with neighboring fire departments, Hunt said, since they also run three platoons.
So they can get to know each other, he said.
Already on Thursday, there were two boxes of donuts in the kitchen from Penn Township firefighters.
Staff writer Joseph Dits: