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Tuesday, October 21, 2014
Speculator, NY ,
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Speculator Firehouse may grow

Saturday, July 19, 2014 - Updated: 8:30 AM

By CRISTINE MEIXNER

Editor

SPECULATOR -- The Village of Speculator may enlarge its firehouse on State Route 30.

Fire Chief Karl Blanchard asked the Board of Trustees July 14 to consider looking into an addition to the fire hall within the next few years, and invited the trustees to "stop down" for a tour.

"We would like to add on to the south side of the building, out 25 feet and back 52 feet," he said, which would add 1,300 square feet. The building is 72 feet long, he said, and stopping at 52 feet would preserve access to the restrooms.

The addition would allow the firemen to move a truck parked perpendicular to the rear of the others to be moved to the front of the building, create a winter training area, and incorporate a place for turnout gear.

"A sizeable chunk of the meeting room is now taken up by turnout gear that had to be moved from next to a truck," he explained, thanks to OSHA.

"That building was built in 1969 and has never been touched," Blanchard said. "The apparatus has gotten so big it's a problem."

"Would an addition interfere with the heliport?" Mayor Letty Rudes asked.

"That's another issue," Blanchard replied "It is dangerous there. If something happens when landing or taking off, which is when helicopter accidents are most likely, one could end up on the public beach."

Rudes agreed, saying, "I've never been happy with it there."

The secondary landing zone is the parking area below the village where traffic can be diverted around on Downey Avenue. Blanchard would like to see that become the primary landing zone.

Rudes advised him, "Do a little investigation and come up with some figures."

BUILT BY DONATIONS

The firehouse was built 100 percent by donations of money and building materials and cost the taxpayers nothing to erect. It was built by the firemen and local contractors who volunteered time and labor.

It originally housed three engines and the ambulance, even though Speculator Volunteer Ambulance Corps is a separate organization. It now houses three engines, one 34 feet long, one 28 feet long and one 27 feet long; and a 3,000 gallon tanker that is 32 feet long.

That's in a truck bay that is about 50 feet long and 45 feet wide, Blanchard says.

THIRD FEMA GRANT

Two weeks ago the fire department was notified it has won a $40,128 grant for new turnout gear. Fireman Ryan Marshall applied for $42,240 to purchase 16 sets of gear costing about $2,640 each.

The village had planned on paying for the gear over five years, but now has to come up with just 5 percent of the cost, $2,212.

"This is the third FEMA grant we have received since 2008," Blanchard said, "It's quite a feat." He credited Marshall for the achievement.

The other two grants were $180,500 in 2008 to replace a 1979 3,000-gallon tank truck, and $46,923 in 2011 for a high band radio system and two thermal imaging cameras. Each paid 95 percent of the cost of the equipment.

In other fire department news, it has a new member: Dylan Donecker.

The Board of Trustees will next meet Monday, July 28, at 7 p.m. at Village Hall.

     

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