Emerson firefighters have new facility
EMERSON — The Emerson Volunteer Fire Department moved into a new building last week, a move many department members have been eagerly anticipating for some time.
“We started this process a couple years ago and here we are,” said Dick McCabe, Emerson’s fire chief. “We’ve put a lot of new safety features in this building to keep our members safe.”
The entire project started with burning down a house for a practice burn on the lots where the new facility now is located.
A lot of dirt was hauled in for the nearly $1 million project to get things started.
“I was a little surprised at the amount of dirt we had to haul in,” McCabe said. “In the long run, we got about what we wanted.”
With all of the current requirements for a volunteer fire department, McCabe said he thinks the new hall will help maintain what are solid numbers.
“We have over 30 members,” McCabe said. “Everyone of them can be proud of this new building — and maybe we’ll get some more.”
McCabe pointed to the additional commitment in time and training now required for a volunteer, so he welcomes the advantage of a “perk” to entice new members.
“I hope they will love our new hall,” McCabe said. “With the amount of hours it takes for continuing education to be a firefighter and the education to be an EMT, we need to offer these people something attractive to keep doing what we do.”
The first truck that was parked in the new hall was driven by a 45-year department member, Kevin Heeney.
“It’s hard to believe we got this approved and done,” Heeney said. “I’m so proud and happy to be a part of this. We can’t wait to serve the people in the fire district and do what we do best.”
The Emerson Volunteer Fire Department is comprised of three companies. Two are made up of Emerson residents and the third is made up of Hubbard residents — about 13 miles away.
Hubbard also has a fire hall that houses a first responder pickup and another truck.
“It’s amazing how this department doesn’t care about what town you’re from. They care about helping people,” Heeney said. “A great bunch of people answer the pager here and take care of the job.”
The department is planning an open house for the new hall at Emerson’s Tri-County Days Celebration in August.
“We have a quality facility with a lot of new technology in it,” McCabe said. “It’s something the community can use and something to make us all proud.”