New $3.5M fire­house to break ground

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - DAILY LOCAL NEWS - By Eric De­vlin ede­vlin@21st-cen­tu­ry­media.com @Eric_Devlin on Twit­ter

Big things are com­ing down the pike for the Lim­er­ick Fire Com­pany as con­struc­tion on its new head­quar­ters gets un­der­way in just a few short weeks.

The fire com­pany cur­rently op­er­ates out of its 390 W. Ridge Pike fa­cil­ity built in 1984. That fa­cil­ity is in need of sig­nif­i­cant up­dates to main­tain the ef­fi­cien­cies of the com­pany, and em­brace the mod­ern chal­lenges the com­pany faces. Sev­eral stud­ies con­ducted over the past few years have de­ter­mined that a ren­o­va­tion of the ex­ist­ing build­ing would be cost pro­hib­i­tive.

That’s why it opted to move for­ward with the $3.5 mil­lion con­struc­tion of a new fa­cil­ity, built over the foot­print of the ex­ist­ing build­ing.

“It’s ex­cit­ing but very busy,” said Tom Wal­ters, Lim­er­ick Fire Com­pany pres­i­dent. “Through this process it ended up be­ing sig­nif­i­cantly more than seven dig­its to re­model the ex­ist­ing build­ing than it cost to tear down and build a brand new build­ing. That’s why we’re build­ing a brand new build­ing.”

The ground­break­ing cer­e­mony for the new fa­cil­ity will be held Satur­day, Oct. 29, from 1011 a.m. Among those in at­ten­dance will be state Sen. John Raf­ferty, R-44th Dist., state Rep. Tom Quigley, R-146th Dist., as well as town­ship su­per­vi­sors and staff and other dig­ni­taries. De­mo­li­tion of the ex­ist­ing fire house will take place on or about Nov. 5. The new two-story, 20,000-square-foot build­ing will be equipped with five drive-through ap­pa­ra­tus bays. In­cluded in the over­all square footage is space for the ex­ist­ing mem­bers to sleep while staffing the sta­tion dur­ing weather events, or other emer­gen­cies. Other vi­tal spa­ces will in­clude train­ing and study rooms for the more than 70 ac­tive fire­fight­ers to meet man­dated train­ing cer­ti­fi­ca­tions, equip­ment and ra­dio rooms, along with ad­min­is­tra­tive of­fices. The new sta­tion will also pro­vide ac­com­mo­da­tions to main-

emer­gency med­i­cal ser­vices staffing pro­vided by Trappe Am­bu­lance Com­pany, and a space to sup­port the town­ship emer­gency op­er­a­tions cen­ter.

Wal­ters said the goal is to cre­ate a space built for the next three or four decades. A ren­o­vated fire house had them ques­tion­ing the depart­ment’s longevity.

“Will we get what we want for the fu­ture? Maybe five to 10 years,” he said. “But not 30-40 years down the road.”

That’s why a brand new build­ing was ul­ti­mately the best course of ac­tion, he said.

As the new fire sta­tion is be­ing con­structed, fire pro­tec­tion will re­main un­in­ter­rupted. The com­pany will op­er­ate out of two tem­po­rary lo­ca­tions, be­hind the town­ship pub­lic works build­ing and out of a build­ing lo­cated at the for­mer Tele­flex prop­erty on Lewis Road. Cov­er­age by the town­ship’s other fire com­pany, Lin­field, and other mu­tual aid part­ners will con­tinue with­out change dur­ing this time.

The new fire sta­tion is a re­sult of the strate­gic plan­ning ef­forts be­tween the two fire com­pa­nies and the town­ship, and is part of a new co­op­er­a­tive cap­i­tal fund­ing pro­gram. The pro­gram is in­tended to pre­serve the high level ser­vices that ex­ist to­day, and ac­com­mo­date fu­ture needs that will be re­quired as the Lim­er­ick com­mu­nity con­tin­ues to grow.

Fa­cil­ity, ap­pa­ra­tus, and equip­ment needs are crit­i­cal to pub­lic safety, and have been iden­ti­fied as the most sig­nif­i­cant need of our all-vol­un­teer fire fighter force.

Wal­ters thanked the town­ship of­fi­cials in­volved in the cap­i­tal pro­gram to make the new fa­cil­ity come to fruition.

“We are a very, very for­tu­nate fire com­pany,” he said.

PHOTO COUR­TESY OF LIM­ER­ICK FIRE COM­PANY

Lim­er­ick Fire Com­pany will break ground on its new $3.5 mil­lion fire­house on Oct. 29.

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