BROOKINGS – Brookings’ new South Main Fire Station, shown above, was dedicated Thursday night with a ribbon cutting and some firefighter traditions like uncoupling the hoses and pushing the engines into the bays, below.
Below, after the uncoupling ceremony, Madyson Oines, 10, helped roll up the hose with a little help from her dad, Nick, a firefighter with the Brookings Fire Department.
Fire Chief Darrell Hartmann, Mayor Keith Corbett and City Manager Jeff Weldon spoke to the large crowd that attended.
Hartmann praised his crew: In 2017, Brookings firefighters racked up 10,551 volunteer hours, which includes training and time on calls. “Very impressive number,” Hartmann said.
The building will help his firefighters do their jobs, he added.
“Both the department and community, it gives us better distribution, which correlates into fast response times,” Hartmann said, adding the new station was needed due to the spreading growth of Brookings to the south.
“It’s much-needed space. With this design, we have room between apparatus and we have height to do maintenance on the inside. Prior to this, even with snow on the ground, we would have to work on the apparatus outside,” he said.
“I think it’s a shining example of Brookings,” Hartmann said.
Corbett pointed out some special features at the station, including drainage and a detention pond, ramps that were compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act, and new sidewalks that connect the fire station with Dakota Prairie Elementary School and housing developments to the east.
“They love it,” he said of Dakota Prairie staff on having the fire station so close.
He pointed out this building puts a fire station in the south end of town, where a lot of firefighters live.
“They’ve got a wonderful response time anyway. This helps … especially the way Brookings is growing,” Corbett said.
Weldon listed some details on the building, including the 400 square feet to display an antique fire truck, below, the four drive-through bays for the trucks, and the fact they can add on to the west.
“Expansion was a significant factor,” Weldon said.
He suggested people drive by at night when the building is lit up – “This building shows very well,” he said – but it’s not just for looks, it’s also for security. The lighting is energy sensitive, as well, he added.
“We’re extremely proud of this,” Weldon said, adding special appreciation for the volunteer fire department, too.
Below, even a broken leg couldn’t slow down Gabriel Long, 4, who attended the dedication of the South Main Fire Station all dressed up like a firefighter and getting around quite well with his walker. His dad, Brandon Long, is a captain with the Brookings Fire Department.
Also shown below, fire department auxiliary members served up cake at the open house.