A dry spell allowed crews to work quickly in erecting a new fire station — Fire Station No. 3 — in the city, said Craig Barton, chief of the Hallsville ESD 5 Volunteer Fire Department.
“With this dry spell that we had, it allowed them to get a whole lot of work done that we weren’t expecting,” Barton said. “(The recent rain) slowed them down some. They’ve been trying to finish the concrete on the driveway. The rain kind of put that on the back for a bit. But they’ve been able to keep working on the building though the drive hasn’t been completely poured.”
Transet Co. of Longview has served as a construction manager of the project to build the new fire station at FM 968 and FM 2625 in Hallsville.
Barton said he expects the station to be fully enclosed this week, and construction should be finished by December or January.
“(The new station) will have four living quarters, a day room, kitchen. It’s going to be a new station designed to be manned by 24-hour crews,” Barton said. “Our central station downtown has a central day-room upstairs with a little cooking area, but it wasn’t really remodeled for living. We just kind of threw some beds in the corner and made a little spot for the guys. This one will actually have individual bedrooms for the firefighters.”
While staffing still is up for consideration, the fire chief said the department plans to try to staff one person at Station 1, located off of Main Street and FM 450, and at Station 3.
“That will give us a staff station on both sides of the railroad track,” he said. “We’ve been having some issues getting stuck by the train.”
Barton said the ESD is working toward getting the new station outfitted for when it is finished in a few months.
Currently, Hallsville ESD Volunteer Fire Department’s Insurance Services Office rating is 6-9, split representing the department’s service in the incorporated city and the service to the county, respectively. Barton said adding another station would put residences in the 130-square-mile coverage area closer to a station and improve the ESD’s rating.
“We have four brand new trucks that are in the process of being built right now,” Barton said, adding the equipment will be funded through emergency service district tax. “We’re being told that three of them are expecting to be here around March. I have a reserve grass truck and a reserve engine that we’re probably going to place out there if we get it built before the trucks get here so we’ll at last have some equipment out there to start functioning.”
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