Developers bear cost of new firehouse in Mark Twain
Appeal Staff Writer
The latest addition to Dayton’s public safety buildings is a gleaming, state-of-the-art firehouse, complete with kitchen, weight room and TV area. And it didn’t cost taxpayers a dime.
Central Lyon County Fire Station 38, on Six Mile Canyon Road in Mark Twain, just about 400 feet from Highway 50, has already proven its firefighting value by serving as the command post for the Six Mile 2 fire. Its financial value is $1.2 million, all paid for by developers and businesses.
Chief John Gillenwater, who leads the Central Lyon County Fire District, said the land and the building, including materials and labor, were donated by developers and businesses.
“We’re always worried about developers coming in and building and taking their profits and leaving, and we’re left with the cost of infrastructure,” Gillenwater said. “It’s good for the community that these developers really stepped up to the plate.”
The land was donated by Dwight Millard, Tom Garretson and Edd Furgurson; and the firehouse itself was built by Lyon County builders Reynen and Bardis, with the help of 29 businesses offering materials.
Gillenwater said the station is staffed by the district’s fire-prevention division during the day, as well as being used by the station’s eight volunteers.
He added that as the area grows, the prevention division will be moved out and the station will be staffed full-time
“We’re always looking for good volunteers,” Gillenwater said. “This year, we expect 3,000 calls in the district.” The Central Lyon County Fire District received about 2,700 calls last year, Gillenwater said.
During the Six Mile 2 fire, Gillenwater said, Station 38 was where plans were laid in case the fire began devouring structures in Mark Twain. Fortunately, he said, weather conditions changed and pushed the fire north. The firehouse was also used during the Linehan Complex fire.
The bunk rooms have single beds and nothing else. Gillenwater said he wants firefighters to hang out together, not shut themselves up in the bunk rooms.
“We want our firefighters to be together, not go off to the bunk room to watch TV or talk,” Gillenwater said. “They need to be as cohesive as a family, so they need to do things like eat, watch TV together.”
The design of the firehouse is a cost-saving measure as well.
“This is the 1,660-home plan for Reynen and Bardis,” he said. “To keep costs down, we took the home plan, tweaked it a little, and made it work for us.”
There are offices for the prevention officer and a plan-checker room, where plans of commercial buildings can be accessed and studied, to help firefighters create a plan of action should one of those buildings burn. The offices will eventually become bunk rooms. There is also a room specially designed to clean the self-contained breathing apparatus.
In the apparatus room, where the trucks are kept, hoses hang from the ceiling to remove exhaust from the vehicles.
The apparatus room holds a fire engine, two medic units and Rescue 38, a mass-incident response unit that was purchased with grant funds, as was much of the equipment on it.
In addition to ladders, hoses, extinguishers, hand and power tools and self-contained breathing apparatus, there are timbers for shoring up buildings, a winch that will pull 12,000 pounds and auto-extrication equipment. It also has kitty litter, kiddie pools and garden sprinklers.
The kitty litter is for cleaning up after oil spills, Gillenwater explained. As for the kiddie pools and sprinklers, “they are for when you have to be cleaned off from a hazardous material incident. There are pools made specifically for hazmat units, but they cost about $200 each,” he said.
The unit, bought two years ago, is used for fires, auto accidents, building collapses and major rescues.
“It’s primary use is for hazardous materials or heavy rescues,” Gillenwater said. “If this truck is in the front of your house, something has gone seriously wrong,” he said.
Gillenwater said the trend toward having developers pay for the cost of fire infrastructure is continuing. He said the district is working with Lakemont Homes to supply living quarters for firefighters at the golf course. The district is also working with Landmark to build a firehouse at the Traditions development, Gillenwater said.
• Contact reporter Karen Woodmansee at firstname.lastname@example.org or 882-2111, ext. 351.