Archive for Thursday, March 10, 2005

Satellite fire station takes shape

March 10, 2005

March 2, a bale of hay caught on fire about a mile away from the site of the new Leavenworth County Fire District No. 1 fire station No. 2.

If a truck would have had to come from the current station, it would have taken about 20 minutes. Instead, volunteer firefighters had a truck at the new station's site at 25115 County Road 29, west of Lansing, and quickly extinguished the fire.

After breaking ground for the $150,000, 3,000-square-foot station on Veteran's Day, volunteer firefighters have been spearheading the construction of the new station with the help of professionals. On New Year's Eve, Brunson Builders came out to start laying bricks in the cold.

Volunteers have been working on the new station on weekday afternoons and weekends since then. The exterior is all but completed. Now, the volunteers will turn their attention to interior work.

Fire Chief Rick Huhn said he hoped the station, which is about a mile north of the Leavenworth County Shop on 187th Street, would be fully operational in May or June.

"It's because of volunteers that we are getting this station," Huhn said, noting volunteers are also largely responsible for the station that sits near the corner of Kansas Avenue and Main Street in Lansing.

The volunteers have used their experience in building their current station to help them with this project. The new satellite station is smaller and will house four volunteer firefighters, two trucks, a training room and an office.

The real benefit, though, is getting fire trucks to a fire scene faster.

"It is going to cut down on response time," Huhn said. "It can take as long as 20 minutes to get out here now."

After the satellite office is open, Huhn said, a fire truck should be within five of any property in Fire District No. 1's jurisdiction.

"People are ready to go," Huhn said. "Many people's insurance rates will go way down."

Ultimately, the fire district would like to have stations within 1? miles of every house in the district. The district envisions building another station in three years in the northern part of its jurisdiction area, which covers the city of Lansing and Delaware and High Prairie townships.

The new station will be staffed completely by volunteers. The district currently has 25 volunteer firefighters on staff. To learn how to become a volunteer firefighter, call 727-5844.

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