Archive for Thursday, August 11, 2005

Station expansion prepares fire department for future

August 11, 2005

With its coverage area rapidly expanding, the Fairmount Township Fire Department is receiving more calls for service than ever before. And because of area growth, the department is "trying to stay ahead of the curve" when it comes to facilities.

According to numbers released by the department, volunteers from Fairmount Township have answered 313 calls for service so far in 2005. That number puts the department on pace for answering 125 to 150 more calls than last year.

In response to a higher demand, and a heavier emphasis on fire sciences, the department requires more equipment and storage space. It's a primary reason why the department has embarked on an expansion project, which when completed will more than double its current square footage.

Roof work continued this week on the expansion project. Slowly, but steadily the fire department is completing the new, two-story addition.

Mark Linville, fire department public information officer, said the time is now to expand the fire department's facility.

"We're just starting to get kind of cramped," Linville said. He added, "It's never going to be cheaper than it is now."

On the ground floor level, the new building will encompass 4,550 square feet. The current facility, located just north of the new addition in downtown Basehor, contains 4,480 square feet.

The new addition will include a second floor, which will house sleeping quarters and office space.

"In the long-term plan, we'll more than double the size of the station," Linville said.

To keep costs down, the fire department is using many of their own volunteers for construction of the new addition, Linville said.

"A lot of work is going to be done by our own personnel," he said. "The reason for that is we don't want to burden the taxypayers. We want to put our own efforts into this as well."

The expansion project is slated for completion sometime next year.

Linville said the new building will allow the department to house its largest ladder truck in Basehor rather than at a station on County Road 2. It will also allow for the department to quarter part-time or full-time firefighters, should the need arise in coming years.

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