Every decision a Fire Chief makes is temporary.

The next Mayor, City Manager or Chief can change them.

Whether it is about policy, procedure, personnel, tactics, strategy, or the budget, the Chief’s decisions are not permanent; except one.

Decisions made about the design and functionality of a firehouse are permanent. You only get one chance on this one.

You need to get it right.

When the concrete trucks show up, it's too late.

About FD&C

My name is Jim McClure. I retired as a Captain from the San Jose, CA. Fire Department after almost 29 years of service. The department has 33 stations open. They house 31 engines, nine trucks and several specialized companies. Ten of my last twelve years were spent in the Bureau of Support Services. The first three years were in the role of Facilities Captain. I was responsible for the project management of all repair projects for every fire department building including the training center. This work brought me into contact with city repair staff, contractors and vendors. I learned from every one of them. Maintaining the firehouse taught me what breaks, what doesn’t and how easy or hard is it to get parts. This influences every decision I make.


Starting high school I wanted to be an architect. I attended a technical high school and studied architectural drafting for three years. College had other plans for me but I never lost my interest in architecture.

In 1988 I earned a lifetime teaching credential for Fire Science classes at the Junior College level.

In 2002, the voters of San Jose passed a $70M Bond for fire department construction. To manage those funds, the city created a design & construction management team. This team consisted of architects, engineers, analysts and consultants with me representing the Fire Department. After nine years, the team produced a five volume Fire Station Master Program, acquired nine sites, completed four major renovations, two temporary fire stations, ten new fire stations, (including one LEED Silver & seven with Public Art), one under construction, and one more waiting to go out to bid. At completion of the program, the Department will have 12 new firehouses totaling 75,000 square feet.


After reviewing years worth of construction documents, specification books, submittals and spending more hours on constructions sites than I can count, I developed a keen eye for the detail needed to build a functional, durable and maintainable 21st Century Firehouse.

When I review plans, not only am I looking for compliance to the Program, I am looking for the little things that add to the functionality & livability of the firehouse. I developed a long checklist of brilliant choices and bungling mistakes made by architects, engineers, contractors, fire department personnel and, yes, even myself. I always refer to it.

Current Projects


Assisting a Philadelphia area Developer with location and design of multiple firehouses.

I am published in Carolina Fire Journal and the Fire District Association of California (FDAC) Report.
I also contribute to Firehouse Magazine.
I was a presenter and / or sponsor at Fire Chief Magazine's Station Style Conference from 2009 thru 2013. This conference was dedicated solely to the design, construction and equipping of firehouses.

     Previous presentations:
          Durable Materials for Firehouses
          Remodel or Replace

          Top 10 Remodels for your budget
          Architecture for Firefighters
          HVAC & Diesel Exhaust.

I was also on the Experience Speaks Panel for four of those five years. It is a free wheeling Q & A involving firefighters & architects with experience building firehouses answering the attendees questions.

The Station Design Conference is now sponsored by Firehouse Magazine.
I will be presenting on the Diesel Exhaust Systems in Anaheim, May 19, 2016.

I've been a vendor at Firehouse World in San Diego since 2012. It is scheduled for February 5 - 9, 2017.
I am a vendor at the FDAC conference, in Napa, CA every April.
I was a vendor at the F.E.I.R.O. Conference in Raleigh, NC - 2014.
I was a vendor at the International Conference for Fire and Rescue Executives, in Seattle, WA 2014.