GLIDE — After months of construction, the new Glide Fire Station is up and running. All that’s left to do is put on the finishing touches.
Staff members moved into the 11,328-square-foot fire station toward the beginning of August.
“It’s an amazing building. It will service us for years to come, a lot of years to come,” Glide Fire Chief Dan Tilson said.
The old fire station, which stood in front, was demolished a couple of weeks ago.
“I think most of the community was very impressed with the building when the old building came down. People could really see it,” Tilson said.
Glide voters narrowly approved a $2.5 million bond in 2012 for the new station and a substation, after shooting down proposals in 2008 and 2010.
Tilson said he knew in 2000 there was a need for a new station.
“People kept on saying, ‘Make do with what you have,’” Tilson said. “The (old) building was falling down around our ears. There were too many needed upgrades.”
The department receives over 400 calls per year. The number of calls increases every year, he said.
Tilson said when he started volunteering 29 years ago, the station received about 160 calls.
“I don’t care if somebody is having a heart attack or their house is burning down, somebody needs to be here to help,” he said.
Four sleeping quarters allow some 30 volunteer firefighters to staff the station on a rotating basis. There are two bathrooms with showers, an exercise room, a fully equipped kitchen, and a day room with living furniture and a TV. A conference room doubles as a study space for volunteers.
The firefighters’ training room features a video projector and large screen. Access to wireless Internet runs through the entire building. The training room can also be used as a community event center.
A report-writing room shows who’s around the station or in the district to go on calls.
Beth Werner, the department’s business manager, said the new station is more comfortable.
“We’ve had more volunteers sleep here already in the last week,” she said. “The reason for the day room is to encourage volunteers to come to the station and, while they’re here, respond to calls.”
She said the former station was so small that office staff moved operations to a trailer before construction began to free up sleeping space for firefighters.
The old station, built in 1976, was only 6,000 square feet and had undergone several additions.
Some fire apparatus also had to be double-parked, an inconvenience since remedied by the new station’s eight bays and a 1,500-square-foot substation on Glide Transfer Road.
Zerbach Construction of Roseburg finished the Whistler’s substation in July 2013.
A fire engine and water tender are stored there.
“That two-bay substation has helped a lot of people in terms of insurance,” Tilson said.
Cost of the station and substation totaled about $2.7 million. The department dipped into its savings account to finish the project, he said.
Tilson said there were some glitches and changes along the way with design and electrical wiring, but that the department’s contractor, T. Gerding Builders of Corvallis, “were great to work with.”
Only a few tasks remain, such as finishing the parking lot and landscaping. “We need to find space for everything that needs a home,” Tilson said.
Finding space shouldn’t be an issue, as the new station comes with ample storage, he added.
“All in all it pretty much turned out how we envisioned it,” Tilson said. “Things are looking good.”
Werner said the department will host an open house in the fall.
• Reporter Jessica Prokop can be reached at 541-957-4209 and firstname.lastname@example.org.