by Nathan Boddy
For over 100 years, the corner of 3rd and State Streets in Hamilton have been the center of fire safety for the City of Hamilton. The stately old building, while having served a valued purpose, is no longer up to the task.
Mayor Dominic Farrenkopf spoke recently about the pressing need for a new facility. “The Fire trucks that are designed and built for modern fire fighting, don’t even fit in the garage anymore,” adding, “That’s a huge problem.” Mayor Farrenkopf also gave details about the difficulty of current operations, for example how the volunteers who respond the fire calls are required to scramble into their turnout gear in a two-foot wide space behind an idling fire truck, while trying to exhaust the trucks with a hoses connected to tailpipes.
“We don’t have an exhaust system,” he says, while also listing the offices, exercise rooms, and kitchen all as being functionally beyond their lifespan.
To this end, the City of Hamilton is announcing a public meeting for Wednesday, July 21st, at 7:00, to be held at the fire hall. “I would like to invite the residents of Hamilton to this public meeting,” says Farrenkopf, “so that they can see the current conditions that the Hamilton Volunteer Fire Department is working under. It is time to provide them with a new, modern facility.”
The plans for a new Fire Hall have been in the works for some time, but Mayor Farrenkopf points out that, cost and the Covid-19 pandemic both got in the way. Nonetheless, the plans are now moving forward for a new Fire Hall to be constructed on city owned property at the corner of Foxfield Street and Skeels Ave. The upcoming public meeting will serve as a showcase of the old Fire Hall, as well as an opportunity for people to get engaged in the community endeavor of building the new facility.
“The city is growing so fast, and fire calls are going up.” Says Farrenkopf. “There’s more people and there’s more need for Emergency Services. In order for us to provide outstanding fire protection, which is our goal, you need the equipment, you need the facility, and you need the personnel. We just need to coordinate a plan to pay for the fire hall. At this time, we are exploring all funding options.
“We are really encouraging everyone to come out and find out how they can support our local volunteers firefighters- and our community by putting this project together.”