Print Fire station remodel makes building livable
Written by Staff Reporter   
Sunday, 22 January 2012 00:00

The 2,000-square-foot remodel and expansion project at Verde Valley Fire District Fire Station No. 31 was shaping up just fine with framers, plumbers and other tradesmen working on-site.

Nearly all of the people laboring on the project at 2700 Godard Road reside in the Verde Valley, Fire Marshal Mike Flummer said during a tour of the place, Jan. 5.

Local builders work on a section of an addition and remodel to Verde Valley Fire District’s Godard Road Station No. 31 on Jan. 5. The remodeling of the station includes a switch from barracks-style lodging for the fire crews to individual dorm rooms to make the emergency responders’ 48-hour shifts more comfortable.The project should be completed within three months or so, Flummer said.

“It’s going a lot better since the weather let up,” said David Lockman, one of several tradesmen who have been working at the site since the end of November. Rains caused some work delays, he said.

Plans to remodel and expand were approved by the VVFD board about one year ago. While $350,000 to $360,000 was budgeted for the work, the winning bid came in at $327,000, a savings of more than $20,000, Flummer said.

The remodel was designed by a former local firefighter familiar with the needs of people who spend about one-third of their life waiting for the call in their home away from home, Flummer said.

Private bathrooms were among the amenities firefighters needed to continue using the station, which was constructed more than 20 years ago. At present, the station does not adequately address the privacy needs of the staff when men and women serve on the same overnight shift.

While privacy has been an issue in the past, it has not prevented VVFD from working with female firefighters as they signed up for duty.

For the first time since the station opened in 1987, firefighters will now enjoy two bathrooms, each with its own sink, toilet and shower. Currently, the fire station features one bathroom, a two-seater, which is normally used by one firefighter at a time.

“No more lines waiting for the bathroom,” Flummer said.

The remodel will also make the sleeping situation more comfortable because firefighters will have more room, said Shaun McCallum, a 15-year-veteran of VVFD who pushed the idea with the board.

The weight room where firefighters keep in shape will be separated into its own room so workouts don’t interfere so much with leisure time, McCallum said.

“They spend more than one-third of their lives here,” Flummer said.