LEAD — Members of the Lead Volunteer Fire Department celebrated Christmas this year by moving into their new fire hall.
The 15,500 square foot building on Hearst Avenue was completed just before Christmas, and the day after celebrating the holiday firefighters got to work on making their new space their own. The facility includes space for all 10 of the fire department’s trucks, six offices, a conference room, full kitchen facilities, storage space, an exercise and radio room, a separate space for cleaning and filling air tanks and maintaining equipment, and plenty of room to store the necessary firefighting gear.
“It’s pretty well designed and it’s big, and that’s the great part about it,” said Lead Fire Department Coordinator Dennis Schumacher. Schumacher explained that before the fire hall was built, fire department equipment was scattered throughout the area. Of the department’s 10 trucks, only four could be housed at the old fire hall on Main Street. The rest, he said, were at Terry Peak, Central City, and Terraville, and when those trucks were needed, precious firefighting time was spent retrieving them.
“Now we can keep all of our trucks here in one building, ready to go,” Schumacher said, adding that will significantly cut response times and improve service from the department.
The new fire hall also includes space to house emergency personnel and shower facilities, in the event that a storm or other major event would require firefighters to stay at the facility. Additionally, the fire hall includes plenty of space for training.
The $2.8 million building was primarily financed with a loan from the U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development. The funds, Schumacher said, will be repaid using taxes from the fire protection district. Additionally, the State Division of Wildland Fire Suppression will lease space in the hall, and that revenue will be used to pay off the debt.
First Interstate Bank also donated $7,500 to purchase office furniture in the facility.
Currently, Schumacher said the Lead Fire Department consists of 32 active members. All of Lead’s firefighters are volunteers. For more information about the Lead Fire Department, contact fire chief Tim Eggers, 584-2300 or 641-7035.