New fire station provides amenities for volunteers
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.
Workers are shown completing blacktop at the new Limerick Fire Company in August.
With the new firehouse complete, the Limerick Fire Company recently moved into its new building off Ridge Pike.