The Fairfax County fire station at Route 7 and Beulah Road has sat vacant since it was completed in March. The county announced this week that it would begin staffing it Oct. 1, more than a year earlier than planned. (Shamus Ian Fatzinger/Fairfax County Times)

Motorists on Route 7, heading to or from Tysons Corner in the Vienna area, had to be wondering about that shiny new Fairfax County fire station at the intersection with Beulah Road. No cars, no fire engines, no people. Is that thing empty?

Yes, it is. Station 42 was completed in March, with $11 million from a 1989 (!!) bond referendum, but the money to actually staff the station was not available. Which is a drawback, from a firefighting perspective. So it sat empty for the past six months, except for use in drills and other exercises. But this week, Fairfax officials announced that $2.5 million in surplus money from the current budget was going to be used to place one fire engine and a full-time crew of firefighters in the Wolftrap station, and it will begin operations Oct. 1 at 7 a.m.

When budget time rolled around last year, Fairfax officials said they did not have the $4.2 million needed to staff the station, and estimated that it would not open until January 2015. So this week’s announcement was a pleasant surprise, though fire spokesman Dan Schmidt said firefighters will miss the use of the station for training. It will grow to full staffing, with a pumper and an ambulance, by July, Schmidt said.

The station will be open to the public Oct. 12, on Fire Prevention Day, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and a grand opening will be held on Nov. 2 at 11 a.m.