Washington Evening Journal

Fairfield Ledger   Mt. Pleasant News
Neighbors Growing Together | May 22, 2018

Fire Department ready for more room

By Xiomara Levsen | Jul 10, 2017
This is the current home of the Washington Fire Department. The fire department has been located there since 1973. The City of Washington is planning on building a new station for the department next year.

By Xiomara Levsen, The JOURNAL


The Washington Fire Department is in need of more space for its equipment.

At the city council meeting last week, The City of Washington hired architect firm Design Alliance for $155,000 with a $6,000 reimbursable fee to begin designing a new fire station, Washington City Clerk Illa Earnest said. The reimbursable fees are for vehicle mileage to the planned site of the fire department and for project documents.

Washington Fire Chief Tom Wide said he is going on 28 years on the fire department. He said since he started spacing has become more of an issue.

The fire department moved into their current location in 1973 and had enough room for the couple of pumpers, aerial truck, tanker, rescue truck and two grass truck, Wide said.

“Back in 1973 when it was built the size of the engines and apparatus was considerably smaller,” Wide added. “With the evolution of fire service trucks have gotten larger, so we’re really cramped in here now just for space for the trucks.”

Adding heights to the bay where the trucks are parked is definitely needed.

“The aerial truck just barely fits in here,” Wide said. “The heights is a problem and maybe a little larger width on the bays.”

There were a few occasions in the past when somebody has ran into the doors or equipment on the side of the bays while pulling in and out of the fire station, he said.

Besides needing room for trucks Wide said he would like to have a room designated just for meetings and training. They used to have a meeting/training room to use but now city hall and the police department are using that space.

“It just kept getting smaller and smaller,” Wide said, “and then when [the police department] came over 10 years ago it just took everything, so we don’t have a meeting room at all.”

Firefighting was a little different in 1973, Wide said. Back then people signed up to be a firefighter and were given their gear. Now, firefighters have a lot of mandated training they have to go through.

He would like to see a bigger area for parking the trucks and more storage space.

“We don’t have any storage room to speak of,” Wide said. “Right now we’ve got equipment that’s sitting in trailers. When this was built we didn’t have that. Now we have our TRT or confined space [rescue equipment] trench rescue and high angle — that’s service we didn’t provide back in 1973 and we do now. That is in trailers, which probably needs to be in the station.”

If the fire department receives a call for any of the rescue equipment in the trailers they have to go to where it’s stored and hook it onto the truck and then take it to where the call is, he added.

Besides storage, an area for washing the trucks after a call also will be needed because of federal regulations concerning cancerous materials, Wide said. The fire department is also looking to install additional washer and dryers.

“Right now we have one washer and dryer to wash the gear,” he said.

The discussion for a new fire station began five years ago.

“We’ve always known we’ve needed [more space],” Wide said. “We’re crammed on space down here.”

Having a new home for the fire station wouldn’t just benefit the department but the community as well.

“It would be a nice asset for the community,” Wide said. “It not only would allow us to keep providing the service that we do but I guess if you’re driving into town and you’ve never been here before you usually look at the school and you look at city hall and the fire station. It’s one of the things that stands out. It’s kind of a foundation that supports and holds up the city.”

At the next city council meeting, city administrator Brent Hinson will discuss the timeline for when the plans to be presented to the city, Earnest said. People also will have a chance to have input on the building.

“Input from the public is very important,” Earnest said. “I just hope people understand that this project is for the space needs of the fire department. We’re looking forward to them [the committee and architects] to getting started with the project.


Comments (2)
Posted by: Glen Peiffer | Jul 14, 2017 15:12

Locker and Equipment Room

Image result for north dakota hockey locker room pic

Posted by: Glen Peiffer | Jul 14, 2017 14:39

TRT or confined space [rescue equipment] trench rescue and high angle


Image result for des moines firehouse modern design pics

Class Room TrainingImage result for fire station classroom training room picture

Dallas Fire Station 27's fitness room was built above the apparatus bay since the small print left little room for the space.

Interior   Fitness 580581b25613b 590b543801f23

Spring, TX, Fire Station 78

Interior 2 57bca850c784d



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