New fire sta­tion pro­vides ameni­ties for vol­un­teers

The Phoenix - - FRONT PAGE - By Gil Co­hen For Dig­i­tal First Me­dia

There’s no place like home, the old adage goes. But Lim­er­ick Fire Com­pany’s new state-of-the-art sta­tion is about as close as you can get.

Not only does the new sta­tion at 390WestRidge Pike have­more room­for its grow­ing fleet of fire­fight­ing ve­hi­cles; it also of­fers a well-equipped fit­ness room, a spa- cious recre­ation roomand a com­fort­able study room.

“The idea was to make the sta­tion ‘home-friendly’ so that our vol­un­teers will want to spend more time here,” Lim­er­ick Fire Com­pany Pres­i­dent ThomasWal­ters said.

For those wish­ing to flex their mus­cles, the sta­tion’s fit­ness room of­fers vol­un­teers weight lift­ing equip­ment, an ex­er­cise bike and a tread­mill. In the recre­ation room, they can set­tle into one of the reclining chairs and watch “Chicago Fire” on a 50-inch flat screen TV or whip up a snack in the kitch­enette. In the study room, mem­bers can uti­lize one of sev­eral lap­top com­put­ers. “It’s also our hope,” Walters added, “that the new ameni­ties will help at­tract new vol­un­teers.

“With more vol­un­teers on the premises more of the time, if our pagers go off in an emer­gency, they are al­ready in the build­ing and will be able to re­spond quickly,” he pointed out. In con­trast, if they were at home or at work, it might add an­other five to 10 min­utes be­fore they ar­rive at the fire­house.

Im­proved re­sponse time is also a col­lat­eral ben­e­fit of the larger sta­tion house. In the past, be­cause of the lim­ited space in the old fire­house, some ve­hi­cles had

to be parked out­side, where they were ex­posed to the el­e­ments. The new 20,300 square foot build­ing has an 80-foot-by-80-foot en­gine room that in­cludes five dou­ble-deep bays, pro­vid­ing am­ple room to ac­com­mo­date present and fu­ture ve­hi­cles. “Since all of the ap­pa­ra­tus are un­der one roof now,” said Walters, “re­sponse time is quicker be­cause the vol­un­teers don’t have to scrape snowand ice off the ve­hi­cles be­fore hit­ting the road.”

An­other at­trac­tion for prospec­tive vol­un­teer mem­bers is a re­cently or­dered 95-foot-tall E-One Tower Lad­der, the first in Lim­er­ick Fire Com­pany’s 96-year his­tory, which is ex­pected to be de­liv­ered in De­cem­ber .

“It’s com­mon in the vol­un­teer fire ser­vice, when a com­pany gets a new fire sta­tion or ac­quires a new piece of fire­fight­ing ap­pa­ra­tus, that there’s an in­flux of vol­un­teers. The more vol­un­teers a fire com­pany ac­quires, the more it will re­flect in sav­ings to the com­mu­nity,” Walters said.

TOM KELLY III — FOR DIG­I­TAL FIRST ME­DIA

Work­ers are shown com­plet­ing black­top at the new Lim­er­ick Fire Com­pany in Au­gust.

TOM KELLY III — FOR DIG­I­TAL FIRST ME­DIA

With the new fire­house com­plete, the Lim­er­ick Fire Com­pany re­cently moved into its new build­ing off Ridge Pike.

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