The Washington Township Fire Department invited the public into their new fire station on Calvert’s Lane in West Portsmouth on Sunday with a parade, dedication and open house.
The event was held as a thank you to the tax payers who helped make the new facility a possibility.
“It’s a dream. It’s nice,” Fire Chief Wayne Stewart stated. “We have a lot more room than we used to have. We have our own dressing room rather than having our gear hanging out in the bays.”
Stewart explained that the station first moved into their previous building in 1951 and expanded that building several times, adding two bays in the 1960s and then adding a wash bay and meeting room in the 1970s.
According to Stewart, there was no way left to build.
“We outgrew it completely. There was no room for any expansion,” he commented.
The new building remained a dream for several years.
“We’ve been about 10 years working this,” Stewart confirmed. “We took it to the voters to vote, and they passed the levy. It means a lot to us.”
Stewart stated that Washington Township has 30 fire fighters and nine trucks. Now, they have the room for that type of department.
“Comparing what we had to what we got, it’s like night and day,” Stewart stated.
The new fire house is a 14,000 square foot facility and includes six bays. Washington Township Fire Department has been moved in and enjoying the building for several weeks.
The fire department started the day’s festivities with the annual Fire Prevention Parade at 2 p.m. The parade started at the new station, continued down Washington Blvd., to Third Street and back to the fire house. The dedication ceremony then began at 2:45, followed by the open house with free hotdogs, inflatables and demonstration using air lift bags and the Jaws of Life. In addition to inflatables, children enjoyed a look at the stations trucks, ATVS and the Air Evac Lifeteam helicopter that was on location.
Reach Nikki Blankenship at 740-353-3101 ext. 1931.