New facilities will help with response times in the busiest part of Cloverdale fire district.photo provided
Travelers along Cloverdale Road and Highway 20 east of Sisters have probably noticed the construction activity at Cloverdale's Fire Station No. 2 at the junction of Cloverdale Road and Highway 20.
This work is the installation of the new administrative offices of the fire district. The new building will move the Monday-Friday daily operations closer to the majority of calls for help that the district receives. The buildings will have space for volunteers to sleep at night, allowing firefighters to respond more quickly to emergencies.
The new building will not house equipment or apparatus.
Over the last two years fire district staff has analyzed the calls they respond to. They found that over two thirds of the district's calls come from the south end of the response area, which is served by volunteers from Station No. 2. In light of this information the district board of directors voted to construct a new office building to move the paid staff and daily operations to Station No. 2.
Fire Chief Thad Olsen took this opportunity to improve the district's response times by building living quarters into the new facility. This will allow the district to add to the number of volunteers that are on the roster. With sleeping quarters, volunteers who live outside of the response area can respond and serve the people of the district by spending nights at the station. This will allow the district to get a fire truck headed to an emergency faster than if volunteers are responding from their homes and have to first drive to the station to get a fire truck.
Chief Olsen was able to get this project underway with a loan through the Special Districts Association of Oregon (SDAO). He used the limited funds available to have a modular building constructed by the Building Trades Program at the Snake River Correctional Institution in Ontario, Oregon. This program gives inmates some work skills and also saved the fire district thousands of dollars. The building was built in four sections, and they were trucked in two weeks ago, and placed on the foundation by crane on March 6.
Chief Olsen says there are still a few things to do before they move into the building. The roof has to be finished, utilities have to be hooked up, and furnishings need to be installed.
This construction project included the installation of a septic system at Station No. 2. Station No. 2's volunteers have for years been using a porta-potty donated by Ranch Country Outhouse, with no facilities to wash their hands or clean up after a call. The new building has two bathrooms and laundry facilities.
Board President Jerry Johnson said that this is the first major step in moving the Cloverdale Fire District into the future. The project will allow for future 24-hour coverage beyond what the volunteers can currently provide, and will allow the department to move forward with its goal to provide safer equipment, more modern multi-purpose apparatus, and energy-efficient facilities.