Magazines to publish articles on Chapmanville Fire Dept. overhaul
The Chapmanville Fire Department has one of the biggest coverage areas for any station in the region. With any fire department comes the need for adequate space and building conditions, and if you’ve driven by or been inside Chapmanville’s building recently, you’ve probably noticed some work that has been done.
In the summer of 2017, the department went to work remodeling their main building, which has been the home for Chapmanville firefighters since 1954. The project saw a cosmetic overall that includes a new brick exterior, new framing, drywall, interior lighting and lounge area. More than 5,000 bricks were used in the overhaul, and the project was completed for around $10,000.
That was only phase I of the project, and due to a tight budget, a full-time contractor was not affordable for the entire plan. In order to stretch the funds, Chief Thomas Perry Jr. came up with an idea: use the membership for the routine construction and use the contractors for the larger, more complex plans.
The membership, which is 100 percent volunteer, spent hundreds of hours working on the project in their spare time.
Phase II of the project is now underway. It consists of a brand new 60 foot by 80 foot two-story structure being built in an adjacent lot to the current building. Perry designed and created the blueprints for this new addition.
The Logan County Commission has allotted $70,000 to the Chapmanville Fire Department toward completion of the project. However, the cost is estimated to far exceed that number, and members of the department have once again stepped up to donate their extra time to help with construction.
So far, all the foundation work has been completed, and the first floor is halfway constructed. According to David Farmer, general contractor for the project, the new building should be completed by either spring or summer of 2019.
The department reached out to Firehouse Magazine and Fire Rescue Magazine, and both publications agreed to write articles on the overhaul.
“They thought this is unheard of - most firefighters don’t build buildings,” Farmer said, describing the agreement from the magazines. “But most of us in our fire training have a general idea of how structures of building works. Even the ones that aren’t contractors understand because when they go through fire training, they have to understand a basic knowledge of it so they know how to react in a fire.”
Farmer added that the department is looking to get the word out about the project as much as they can to prevent questions from arising and so people who might be willing to help will know about it.
“This is everybody’s community, we want people to help - and you don’t see that anymore. You don’t see people coming out and doing stuff for their communities without asking something out of it. We take pride in it.”
The Chapmanville Fire Department is station three of 12 fire departments in Logan County. It covers approximately 95 square miles and currently has 30 active members, seven in-training members, 10 support staff members and eight auxiliary members. The station averages 45 calls per month.
Dylan Vidovich is a news reporter for HD Media. Contact him by phone at 304-896-5196 or follow him on Twitter @DVidovichLB.