On Wednesday afternoon, Sedalia Fire Chief Mike Ditzfeld showed off the progress that has been made at the city’s new fire station located at 2606 W. 16th Street.
Present for the 15-minute speech and subsequent tour by Chief Ditzfeld and Deputy Chief Greg Harrell were city officials and members of the local media.
Chief Ditzfeld noted that fire department personnel began moving into the new facility last week and by Jan. 26, all three shifts had completed their first tour of duty at the new site, he said. Administrative offices are also now relocated at the new facility, moved from the Sixth and Hancock fire station.
The new 13,000-square-foot fire station is now home to an Engine Company, a Truck Company, the Administrative Staff and a Training Facility.
The department was issued a 90-day temporary occupancy permit from the Building official after an inspection was made by the city’s Code Inspectors.
Ditzfeld added that work on the building is between 95 and 98 percent complete. The Training Tower is expected to be completed later in the spring.
City maintenance crews will remove all salvageable material from the old facility (built in 1971) before it is demolished around Feb. 15, Ditzfeld noted, adding that a small amount of asbestos will be removed by a licensed contractor. Then landscaping and the pouring of a driveway for fire apparatus will take place.
Also on the tour was the city’s newest addition to its fleet of fire trucks. The custom-made, 101-foot platform aerial truck will not be placed into service until all employees have received the mandatory factory training scheduled for Feb 12 – 14, Chief Ditzfeld emphasized. ProEnergy has housed the new truck since its delivery some two months ago at the company’s secure, climate-controlled facility located at Sedalia Regional Airport at no charge to the city. The new fire station was not ready to accept the huge truck, manufactured in Minnesota at the Rosenbauer factory, until last Friday.
“The aerial platform has a six-foot by four-foot platform on it. What that is going to have up there is a pre-piped waterway with huge nozzles that will be capable of pumping 1,500 gallons of water per minute, piped air for breathing apparatuses and it will accommodate up to four or five people at once. Rescue capabilities are probably the main interest,” Ditzfeld said in September. The new platform will be able to hold wheelchairs and other medical devices victims may have.
The addition of the truck, estimated to cost $835,755, is a huge contributing factor in the city’s ability to maintain its current ISO rating, Chief Ditzfeld said. The new truck replaces a 15-year-old ladder truck that will now be placed on reserve status.
A dedication ceremony and open house is being planned sometime after the entire project is completed.
Sedalia Mayor Elaine Horn noted that while the most intense work took place over the last three years, the initial idea for a new fire station began some 10 years ago.
“It takes longer than you anticipate. They started looking at what the requirements were at what growth point and what call level required the need for a new facility that can take care of our needs today and tomorrow,” Horn said, adding that she is very proud of the city’s new facility.
“It gives us a modern facility for our firefighters to work out of, a quality place to live in, and an amazing place for them to train and educate themselves, and other firefighters from our area,” she said, “and I think it’s one of the most critical and great things we can offer to our community.”
The staffing level will remain the same at the old fire station on Hancock, she emphasized. Fire Station #1 was opened in 1975. In addition to the chief and assistant chef, the Sedalia Fire Department employs 39 individuals. Photos by Randy Kirby, Sedalia Weekly Observer.