Fire Department Moving into New Building


After years of needing a new fire department building, the Walnut Ridge Fire Department has one.  They bought the building about a month or so ago, and since then have been working on fixing it up before they move in.

"They want to get in here as soon as possible," said Fire Chief Alan Haskins.

The final touches are being put on the new fire department building in Walnut Ridge.

"The old one was falling in.  It was old and it had mold growing in it," said Haskins.

The old building has been there for at least 80 years.

"It's bigger and it's better.  It shows a lot of future growth for the city of Walnut Ridge," said firefighter Mark VanBrook.

"It's going to help us a lot as far as our response time," said Haskins.

"We'll have three manned stations during the day.  It will widen our response area, plus if we have two fires at once we can pull two trucks out instead of jockeying for position on the road," said firefighter Josh Robinson.

They plan on tearing down most of the old fire department building because it is a hazard; however they plan on keeping the bay to use as a substation.  One truck will stay in the old bay, one truck will stay at the airport, and two at the new station.

"We can fit up to eight trucks in the new bay where we could only fit two or three trucks in the old one," said Haskins.

Before, their hazmat trailer had to sit outside and now there's plenty of room for it inside.  The location of the old fire department made it almost impossible to get out on the street sometimes, now the trucks can enter on one side of the bay, and get out on the other side.

There is still work to be done, but these guys are determined to get moved in this week if not by Wednesday night.

"We're unloading stuff and unpacking stuff.  We've still got some painting to do out here in the bay and cleaning up," said Haskins.

"We all had a hand in putting this one together.  It's something everyone is a little bit prouder of," said Robinson.

Chief Haskins said the new fire station is more centrally located in the city than their old station was.