Wichita West VFD receives donation for new station
WICHITA FALLS, Texas (KAUZ) - The Wichita West Volunteer Fire Department was recently given six acres of land and $600,000 to build a new station by a couple of anonymous donors.
Assistant Fire Chief Michael Albert said this gift comes at the right time with changes being made by the Texas Department of Transportation. Albert said that will only make their job harder.
“With the expansion of TxDOT of Highway 82, that’s going to eliminate our safe zone for our firefighters to pull apparatus out. So if we do have to pull apparatus out and respond to calls and vehicle checks we would be almost in the roadway,” Albert said.
The current fire station has now run out of bay rooms, and its fleet is growing which means more space is needed to accommodate everyone according to Firefighter Rick Lasky.
“We’ve outgrown that facility. Our administration worked out every option they could to try and stay there and it just wasn’t going to happen, especially with the expansion of the highway so to have some residents step up and do what they did for us is absolutely incredible, its phenomenal to see the support we get from our community,” Lasky said.
The new station will even have room to place their protective clothing to reduce the spread of carcinogens, which can cause cancer.
“This is gonna be a labor of love from everyone in our department. Some stuff we’ll have to contract out and some stuff we’re gonna try to do ourselves to keep out of cost down. We don’t have tax funds that come in because of bonds to pay for this, so we have to pay for it out of fundraising and our own blood sweat, and tears,” Albert said.
The fire department will need to raise over one hundred thousand dollars to pay off what’s needed to build their new station. They plan on doing so by hosting fundraisers.
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