New facility dedicated for Conrad Fire and BCERT
CONRAD — A dedication ceremony, ribbon cutting and open house was held over the weekend at the new station constructed for the Conrad Volunteer Fire Department and Beaman Conrad Emergency Response Team (BCERT).
According to Denny Hines, current fire chief, and Assistant Chief Tom Schultz, discussion of needing to build the new fire station goes back nearly 17 years when the department purchased a new pumper truck.
“We met with the council and received the go ahead to begin planning five years ago,” Schultz said. “Construction began in the spring of 2016 and the department moved into the new building in the spring of 2017.”
The building located on Hartwig Drive on the east edge of Conrad replaced a building used since 1980 by the department on Grundy Avenue.
“When we moved into the building in 1980 we had an empty bay. When we moved out we were parking things sideways in the building to get things all in,” Hines said. “The meeting room /office was so tight people were almost sitting on top of one another and when we had county-wide meetings we had to pull the trucks out of the station in order to have the meeting.”
The new expanded facility allows the fire department to have offices and a large meeting room and kitchen in addition to four large bays for trucks. BECERT is completely separate from the fire department with their own bay and offices.
Hines said the building was very much appreciated, and thanked the community for getting behind the department when it comes to fundraisers. To date the department has raised enough funds for furnishing and equipping the station, but more fundraisers are being planned in the future.
Schultz said that as a stipulation to the building project the department has to raise 30 percent of the cost for incidentals, and that the department recently purchased a new set of the Jaws of Life for use in auto accident cases with some of the money that has been raised.
Currently the department has 21 members and are currently looking for young people who would like to become volunteer fire personnel.
During the dedication ceremony, Mayor Jeff Martin said the new building was a great asset to the community of Conrad. He thanked the committee of Todd Schnathorst, Ryan Callaway, Tom Schultz, John McNair and Chris Harris for getting the ball rolling and former City Clerk Denise Hoy and current clerk Lori Stansbury for work behind the scenes, and especially the fire and BCERT personnel for being there when needed.
Several members of the current fire department, BCERT and their families gathered to cut the ribbon held by Mayor Martin and Chamber-Main Street President Jim Hillygus.
The department also recognized the family of Marge (Neuroth) Higgins, as the flagpole that had been located across from the old fire station that was given by the Neuroth family, was moved to the new location. Several members of Boy Scout Troop 107 and Cub Scout Pack 107 raised the flag, while a color guard from the Conrad American Legion Post 681 stood by.