Iím writing in support of, but more importantly the need for a new Fire Station in Kellogg! I worked for the City of Kellogg Fire Department / Shoshone County Fire Protection District No. 2 for 42.4 years. I, most likely know more about the former Kellogg City Hall / Fire Department than any other. Beneath the cinder block cover is a smaller red brick building that was dedicated in 1917. The original building provided adequate room for the services that were provided 1917! An addition was made in about 1932 to better house the firefighting equipment of that era. It wasnít until 1962 that what you see now was added to the building. Surprisingly at the completion of the addition it was discovered that the Pitman Snorkel that was just purchased would not fit into the building. It was again remodeled to suite the size of the newer, larger fire apparatus of that time. Interesting is the fact that the Pinehurst Station was in the planning for remodeling in about 1978 just prior to the death of Fire Chief Bill Linhart. Fire Chief Tom Keefe stopped the work on the building because the size would not suite the needs of the Fire Department. Needless to say the Fire Commission over ruled Chief Keefe and the remodel continued to completion. Now your Fire Department has two buildings that do not meet the needs of the Fire Department for 2018!
Shoshone County Fire Protection District No.2 purchased property on the west End of Bunker Avenue in 2006 with the intent of building a new fire station. In 2009 with a basic plan for a new fire station we applied for a federal grant for funding of the new station but we were turned down. This project has been ongoing since.
In 2012 I contracted with an Architectural Firm out of Spokane who specializes in fire station design and requested a facility survey of the existing fire station in Kellogg. It was my original intent to list all of the comments about the condition of the building but there are 36 safety issues, to many to list them all. Here are several that have been reduced from the engineerís original letter!
The fire station is located 50 feet from an uptown intersection within the business district, creating an unsafe condition for responding emergency vehicles.
When responding the emergency vehicles exit directly onto the sidewalk. The lack of an apron prior to the sidewalk creates a public safety condition.
The apparatus bay doors are too small, two are 10X10 foot and one is 10X12 feet. The minimum recommendation is 12X14 foot doors.
The existing ceiling height in the apparatus bay is far too low approximately 12 feet 3 inches. We order apparatus to fit the building not the needs of the department. This is an issue when servicing the apparatus or simply doing the Daily apparatus check.
Apparatus bays are too narrow. Vehicle doors cannot be opened without hitting a wall or a structural column that are between the apparatus. Again this makes doing the Daily vehicle and equipment checks and vehicle maintenance difficult.
Catch basins for the apparatus bay floor, drains directly into the city sewer lines. The drain lines are not adequate to drain the roof water. During a major rain event the water backs up into the station causing a smelly greasy mess on the floor.
The public entrance to the station enters directly into the apparatus bay. Visitors must walk past the apparatus to reach the administration offices. The building does not meet ADA requirements, wheel chair accessibility is a challenge and there is no public restroom except on the second floor which is not accessible to all citizens.
The living quarters are located on the second floor and are only accessible by the inadequate stairway that does not meet building codes. This is the original stair case that was built in 1917 so it is 101 years old.
I can tell you that because of the narrow apparatus doors we have had incidents involving apparatus doors have been ruined and other damage to vehicles. Also we struck a pedestrian who was not seriously injured.
I have given you 8 of the 36 violations and I shortened comments from the engineer as written in his 4 page report. The rest of the violations cover items involving public safety and fire fighter safety concerns, hindering response times and higher utilities costs. Remember it is only $18.17 per one hundred thousand of assessed valuation. The full report is public record and available for review by contacting the Fire District. I would ask that if you donít think you can support the Fire District; before you vote visit the Kellogg Station and see for yourself.