The Smithville Volunteer Fire Department hosted a dedication, open house, and ribbon cutting Saturday to commemorate the opening of the new fire hall downtown.
During his remarks during the dedication, Smithville Fire Chief Charlie Parker expressed his appreciation to his fellow firefighters for their committment, to past and present city administrations and aldermen, and to the citizens of Smithville for their support. "For the last several years, the Smithville Fire Department has tried to be an agreessive department, trying to build, grow, and expand our capabilities for the citizens of Smithville. This building is one of our accomplishments. We've managed to purchase several pieces of equipment over the last several years. This building is just another building block as we go forward."
Smithville Mayor Taft Hendrixson, who also spoke during the dedication, said he is proud of this new state of the art firehall and the firefighters who staff it. Mayor Hendrixson added that he is also pleased that the city did not have to borrow money to build it due to sound financial management for several years.
In an interview with WJLE on Friday, Parker says the new firehall provides space for fire trucks, offices, training rooms, and living quarters. "When we started this project, we were trying to expand the department so that we could have a building big enough to hopefully someday buy a truck with a ladder on it in order to reach some of the taller buildings in the city. So we made the building big enough on the bottom floor to house larger equipment as the city grows. We added three bays. We presently have four trucks so we're still utilizing the old part of the fire department downstairs. We changed the garage doors of the old fire hall to make it all match the new building. The bottom floor of the new building contains three new bays so we can get all of our trucks parked inside now. None of them have to set outside. It also gives us a little room for expansion in the future. We've made a room to hopefully have a washing machine in the near future for our turnout gear. We also have rooms for our offices and training upstairs. We had extra space so we made provisions to hopefully have some full time firefighters soon. There's a kitchen and a training room upstairs, along with bathrooms and showers. We've incorporated bunk rooms. We're trying to look to the future and possibly add some full time firefighters. We've got the building and the capability to do that now. We're real proud of the new fire hall."
For more information about the Smithville Volunteer Fire Department visit www.smithvillefire.com