Fire Board Moves Ahead With Station
The Goodman Area Fire Protection District is moving forward with securing a new location for a fire station.
Goodman fire chief Keith Estes said that the department is considering a spec building that would enable the crew to aid the community.
Doors are being installed in the building this week, he said, and once the installation is complete, the fire board will have the opportunity to inspect the building and
officially vote to move forward or not.
The spec building is across the alleyway from the original building, Estes said.
The April 4 tornado that ripped through town demolished two stations on Main Street. Engines and trucks were trapped under the rubble.
Since that time, Choice Puppies officials offered fire crews the opportunity to store the vehicles at one of their buildings. Seven vehicles — including a pumper truck donated by the Breese, Ill., Fire District — are being stored there, Estes said.
Estes said he hoped that the crew could have moved into the spec building six months prior, but board members disagreed about how to move forward.
Board chairman Bud Gilmore said multiple issues plagued the board, including deciding on the location.
Some preferred to rebuild at the former location, but it simply wasn’t going to be big enough nor allow for future growth, Gilmore said.
The spec building fits the budget. Though extra funds will have to be paired with the insurance settlement money, Estes believes the board will be able to buy the building outright. Gilmore said board members have conferred with their accountant and sufficient funds have been earmarked for the purchase.
Estes said the building will allow for the fire crew to move in and get up to speed quickly.
In addition, a building next door to the spec location also will convey, allowing for three offices. Board members hope to designate an office for the fire board, one for the fire chief and a third for the firefighters, Gilmore said.
“A farmer stepped up, and I believe he has every intention that we have the building,” Gilmore said.
Estes said that a new fire station will help firefighters’ morale. The lack of a main fire station has been difficult for the volunteer firefighters.
“It’s still a struggle when you don’t have a home to go to,” he said.
The last year’s lessons have taught Estes that life sometimes throws you a real curve ball.
“You are never, ever prepared enough,” he said.
Through the trials of the last year — and trying to secure a new location — Estes has kept moving forward.
“I have been a public servant for 35 years of my life,” he said. “We are here to deliver a service to the public for their safety,” he said.
Despite setbacks and disagreements of location, Estes remains undeterred.
“I’m not a quitter.”