HAMILTON - A firehouse that has stood for over 100 years in Hamilton has served the community well, but the fire department will soon be moving to a new facility.
The current fire hall — located at the intersection of Third and State streets in downtown Hamilton — has been around since 1907.
Now, thanks to the City of Hamilton, the local fire department is moving to a newer facility.
"The current one that we're in, we’ve been in for over 100 years. and it's served its need well,” noted Hamilton Mayor Dominic Farrenkopf.
Currently, there is limited parking at the standing fire hall and the volunteer firefighters don’t have enough room to operate.
"Our concern now is that we are going downtown. You never know when a child is going to ride out on a bike behind a parked car. So that gets us out of that downtown corridor which is a safety aspect,” noted Hamilton Fire Chief Brad Mohn.
The City of Hamilton is building the new facility on the corner of Skeels Avenue and Foxfield Street.
It will be more centrally located, have a parking lot for easier access to emergencies and easier access to equipment.
“It is time to build a new station, not just for now but into the future. And so, we’ll have a much better facility to operate out of to serve the community – it's growing,” Farrenkopf said. “And [it] also gives our firefighters better equipment and a great building to operate out of.”
There isn’t enough space in the old fire hall to allow the decontamination of the gear that firefighters use during a fire.
Some of the upgrades in the new 17,000-square-foot facility include living quarters, a washer and extractor on site —- which allows for a faster turnaround time, and a large meeting room that can be used in case of a wildfire.
The new facility will also have four truck bays that are 14 feet tall, a fitness center, and a decontamination space.
"We have a hot, warm, and cold zone as far as bringing carcinogens back from a fire call,” Mohn told MTN News. “Firefighter cancer is a large concern nationwide in the firefighting industry so to say. This building will address that need.”
The new station is mostly funded by the community and grants, but due to inflation, the building costs have gone up. The estimated cost of the project has gone up to $7,114,272, leaving a budget deficit of $1,748,272.
"When we decided to build this fire station the price went up from the time that we started the project till now. So, we have saved money, we have grant money, and we have had many donations come in,” Farrenkopf explained. “We are short donations and so we are looking for people to help fundraise for the remaining part of the fire fall.”
People who would like to help out can send donations to the City of Hamilton.
The new fire hall is expected to open this fall.