At Monday’s city council meeting, Karlstad Fire Chief Jeremy Folland continued the discussion with the council on plans to expand the fire hall. The discussion had begun at the city’s budget meeting on October 26.
Plans are not solidified yet, but the Karlstad Fire Department (KFD) was given the go ahead to begin laying the groundwork now for construction that could start next spring. The council will look into specifics on the finances in January. The current fire hall, built in 2005, is already paid off.
Built on the east side of the existing fire hall, the addition would provide space for KFD vehicles and the Tri-County EMS ambulances. This would allow for the KFD and Tri-County EMS to join up in the building to form an Emergency Operations Center. Having one location for both fire and EMS also provides a centralized base during major emergencies like the 2012 fire.
Keeping the ambulances at the new operations center would also open up space at the current ambulance garage, allowing the fire department to house several trucks on the west side of the railroad tracks. Currently all fire trucks are stored on the east side of the tracks.
For more on this story, see this week’s North Star News!