STANTON — Three townships and the city of Stanton are pooling their resources to expand and improve the fire department that currently serves the entire area.
Located in Stanton, the fire department has for some time been housed in cramped quarters.
According to City Manager James Freed, the expansion is long overdue.
“The current facility was so cramped they couldn’t safely navigate the building,” Freed said. “The project includes a small addition on the back that will provide an office, conference room and bathrooms.”
The existing structure will receive new insulation and the entire structure will be heated with a modern, energy-efficient furnace. Training space will be added along with decking that will allow firefighters to practice “real world” ladder and hose manipulation. According to Fire Chief Brian Brasington, this sort of training has been difficult in the past.
“With those decks, we’ll be able to practice window rescues and practice window bails and ladder bails,” Brasington said. “These are the sort of techniques we should be practicing. We call it survival training for firefighters.”
The Stanton Community Fire Department currently staffs 22 firefighters, all of whom live within 10 miles of the city. The department serves the city of Stanton, as well as Evergreen, Sidney and Douglass townships. All three townships cooperated with the city to make the improvements to the firehouse.
According to Freed, this level of cooperation speaks volumes about the future of the area.
“It was $140,000 altogether,” Freed said. “The city covered $119,000, with the remainder coming from the townships. This district fire department is something all the townships can be proud of — four different governmental bodies coming together to provide great service to the entire area. Just like Lakeview’s fire department, Stanton’s is one of the finest in the region. To have that level of cooperation is really a step forward for the county. It shows the county’s long-term investment into our public safety.”
Brasington echoed Freed’s comments.
“Without the help of the city and the townships, none of this would be happening,” Brasington said. “We owe a big debt of thanks to the surrounding communities for making this happen. It shows their concern and that they realize how important it is to keep the fire department trained.”
Work on the fire department expansion got under way in mid-July and should be completed within the next four to five weeks. The fire department has continued to operate out of the Stanton facility during the construction process.