by Becky GINOS
CENTERVILLE—It was all smiles as dirt turned last Saturday for the new Centerville Fire Station on Main Street.
“This is a historical community event,” said Woods Cross Mayor Rick Earnshaw, who also serves at chairman for the Board of Directors of South Davis Metro Fire Service Area. “This has been a life changing journey for me to see five communities working together to make this come about.”
Earnshaw said the current station was built in 1988 for volunteer firefighters and no longer meets their needs. “There are way too many problems,” he said. “Our discussion has been safety for you, your families and the firefighters. The new station in the future will accommodate a ladder truck and other apparatus as needed. It will also serve as a great training facility and will serve all of us for many years to come.”
The approximately 12,000 square-foot station will have at least three drive through garage bays, six bedrooms for firefighters, a fitness room, kitchen, living room, a public education and training room and lots of storage for fire equipment. It will also feature a smaller training stair tower with windows for crews to practice rope rescues.
“It will provide a better environment for our firefighters,” said South Davis Metro Chief Jeff Bassett. “They deserve that as they work around the clock serving our communities.”
Funding for the new station comes from a tax increase that some residents pushed back on but was ultimately successful.
“There’s been a great effort to get to this point,” Bassett said. “I’m thankful to the residents to get the funding to make this possible. The firefighters need a new station and the citizens need a new station. There are no boundaries. If somebody needs help the closest station will respond.”
“We’re thrilled to have this here,” said Centerville Mayor Clark Wilkinson. “Chief Bassett and I were discussing the requirements and how we were falling short. This will help meet some of those. We’re thankful for the fire department being involved in the community.”
Wilkinson thanked all those involved in making it happen. “The former mayor worked at getting this land,” he said. “This is an opportunity for our fire department and for all of us. The benefit is going to be enormous.”
Bassett announced the new address and its significance. “It will be 343 S. Main Street,” he said. “We just went through remembering 9/11 where 343 firefighters were killed as they responded to the call for help. I gave the city numbers for the address and they told me 343 was available. It is a special day. It’s a hard day but we will forever remember our brothers and sisters who died that day. We will forever honor those firefighters.”
Construction on the new facility is anticipated to take about a year.