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Second fire station nearing completion

By Staff
Should be operational by no later than April 1
By MIKE VOSS, Contributing Editor
Washington’s second fire station is scheduled to become operational April 1, 2008.
Jimmy Davis, chief of Washington’s Fire-Rescue-EMS-Inspections Department, said construction of the second station should be completed by late next month or in early February 2008. Once the construction is completed, equipping the station comes next, he said.
When the second station becomes operational, the city will be divided into two response districts, with each of the two stations being the primary responder in its respective district while providing assistance to the other station. The second station’s equipment will include one quint (a ladder truck that can serve as a pumper), one fire engine and one EMS unit. The department’s remaining equipment will be kept at the existing station. Existing shift personnel will be distributed between the stations.
In November, the council reclassified three firefighter/EMT positions to fire engineer/EMT positions and three firefighter/EMT positions to fire company officer positions. The reorganization is needed to properly staff the second fire station being built on 15th Street Extension, according to Davis. As a result of the reorganization, each of the department’s shifts will include a fire shift commander (a captain), fire engineer and three firefighter/EMTs at the headquarters station and a fire company officer (a lieutenant), fire engineer and three firefighter/EMTs at the second station.
During Friday’s ceremony, firefighters Johnathan Hardin, Josh Ingram, Robbie Taylor and Tobby Wainwright were promoted to engineers. Their promotions take effect Jan. 1, 2008, except for Wainwright. His promotion took effect in October. An engineer drives fire engines and operates them. Three of the four new engineers will be assigned to the new fire station. Davis did not indicate which three would be assigned to the new station.
For structural fires and other major emergencies, personnel and equipment from both stations will respond, Davis said. For car fires, minor traffic accidents and routine EMS calls, personnel and equipment from the fire district in which such incidents occur will respond, Davis said.
Between the two stations on a daily basis the following personnel and equipment will be allocated for structural fire calls :
Between the two stations on a daily basis, the following equipment and personnel will be allocated for smaller fires, traffic accidents and EMS calls:
Those functions are rescue, applying water by a hose and work involving a ladder, ventilation and forcible entry.
The new fire-rescue-EMS station will include three bays, two administrative offices, a training room/emergency operations center, kitchen, sleeping quarters and physical-fitness room. The 11,300-square-foot station will house an engine, ladder truck and EMS unit. It will be located west of the former Lowe’s building on 15th Street Extension.
In January, the council awarded a $2,249,733 construction contract to Hudson Brothers Construction Co. to build the station. The project’s overall cost is $2.87 million. The station was designed by the architectural firm of Stewart-Cooper-Newell.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Development branch is lending the city the money for the project.
The new station will enable the department to improve its response times and, possibly, its fire insurance rating, city officials said. An improvement in the insurance rating likely would mean an insurance premium reduction for property owners in the fire district, according to city and USDA Rural Development officials.
During Friday’s ceremony, Bill Lurvey received the department’s Volunteer Firefighter of the Year award for 2007. Lurvey, the city’s risk-management coordinator, has been a volunteer firefighter for 27 years.
Gary Johnson received the department’s Career Firefighter of the Year award fro 2007. Johnson is an engineer with the department.
For more information about the awards-and-promotions ceremony and other department-related items, see Monday’s Daily News.