The Gooding (ID) Fire Department is now working out of its new station that houses its 16 fire and EMS vehicles in a modern facility that meets the needs of the mostly rural coverage area in Gooding County, Idaho.
Brandon Covey, Gooding Fire’s chief, says the department has 25 paid on-call firefighters, a full-time paid chief, and one full-time paid firefighter working out of the station to cover a population of 7,000 citizens in 151 square miles of the county and the city of Gooding. “Our old station was built in 1937 and had been used as a city hall and city maintenance shop before the fire department took it over,” Covey points out. “It was located in the middle of town, and with fire apparatus getting bigger, we saw the need for a new station.”
Covey continues, “The Hults family donated seven acres to the fire department, and then we purchased an adjacent parcel, but had to wait for approval from the city council and the rural fire commissioners. Ultimately the go-ahead for a new facility was secured by the approval of a levy that would allow for a $2.25 million fire station.”
The department then approached Morton Buildings, says Steve Case, western area manager for Morton Buildings, “Giving us an idea of what they needed in a station and the various functional areas they wanted. We did a design-build project for their station, having our engineers and architects work with them on suggestions for the layout and facilities in the station.”
The resulting structure, Case says, is an 80-foot-wide, 18,000-square-foot building with six double-deep, drive-through apparatus bays. The station now houses four Type 1 structural engines, one heavy rescue, two tenders (tankers), four wildland brush trucks, one ambulance, two command vehicles, and two support vehicles.
“Off the apparatus bays are a decon laundry room, hose drying area, mechanical equipment room, SCBA room with air compressor and equipment, turnout gear storage area, work room, and a shower and eyewash area,” Case notes. “The structure is a wood frame building with steel exterior siding and roofing, while the apparatus bays are insulated with a steel liner eight feet high, with acoustic steel above that and on the ceiling to reduce the echo. The ceiling is insulated to R50, and the apparatus bay walls to R19.”
Covey says that the new station has three single dorm rooms, and four unisex bathrooms—two adjacent to the dorms and containing a shower, sink, and toilet. The other two unisex bathrooms are located near the public area of the station. “We have a kitchen with dining area and day room, a conference room, a large training room that doubles as a community room, a lobby and reception area, dispatch room, chief’s office, and mezzanine area over the office and dispatch for storage,” he says.
ALAN M. PETRILLO is a Tucson, Arizona-based journalist, the author of three novels and five nonfiction books, and a member of the Fire Apparatus & Emergency Equipment Editorial Advisory Board. He served 22 years with the Verdoy (NY) Fire Department, including in the position of chief.