Medaryville firefighters plan for a new fire station
The Medaryville/White Post Volunteer Fire Department is taking a leap of faith after years of small steps to a new fire station.
During a recent Pulaski County Commissioners’ meeting, the department asked for the commissioners’ support so they can apply for an Office of Community and Rural Affairs (OCRA) grant. The Town of Medaryville has recently been awarded an OCRA grant so the entity cannot apply for another grant until their project is complete.
Fire chief Shaun Hauptli said the department has been working on the idea of a new station since 2014. He said the main reason for a new station is safety. The current trucks are not built for firefighters to don their self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) while en route to the structure fires. SCBAs are used for interior attacks of fires and to keep firefighters from being exposed to carcinogens, smoke inhalation and heat. The station is also too small to hold trucks with large extended cabs. The station has four bays but seven trucks. The two trucks that are parked behind the others are the department brush trucks.
It appears the current station was built in the 1960s. It was deeded to the fire department in February of 1970. Past evidence of the purpose of the building before it was a fire station can be found upstairs where a whole in the wall was used for a movie projector for a theater.
The station has a bay area, a small sitting area and an office. The office was a kitchen before it was renovated at some point. There is also a small upstairs area that is used for storage.
The building in not Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliant. The building also has inefficient heating and cooling.
The department is currently applying for a couple different grants to help fund the project. If not all of the funding can be received through grants, Hauptli said the bay area of the station may be built now and the community area added later when more funding is available.