Wilton welcomes public to tour fire station additionBy KATHLEEN BAGLIO HUMPHREYS
Union Leader Correspondent
May 18. 2014 8:23PM
WILTON — The new fire station addition was as shiny as the seven polished fire trucks lined up in the wider and taller bays as the public was welcomed to tour the fire house on Sunday.
An open house and waffle breakfast was held to showcase the fire station addition, the equipment and improved safety features. A steady stream of visitors toured the facility, which was completed recently.
The addition and improvements included three spacious bays that can accommodate larger fire trucks, a decontamination room, locker room, office space for the chief, an office for the two deputy chiefs and officers, a lobby for the public, a meeting room and long hallway to hang the firefighter’s gear.
Wilton Fire Chief Raymond Dick was pleased with the addition and said, “We love the place compared to what we had and the safety concepts add to this. It’s more up-to-date. It will be useful and quite an asset to the town in the future.”
“The safety measure really improved the fire station. There is a place to get dressed instead of getting dressed behind the trucks and a place to get cleaned-off so firefighters don’t have to take contaminates home with them. Moral has improved,” added Dick.
Chief Dick has been on the building committee for 20 years and was happy the addition is now a reality.
The $1.6 million project is a little under-budget with a few minor details to finish. “I would like to thank the town people for trusting us for putting this structure in place and spending their money wisely and keeping everyone happy and safe,” said Dick.
“It’s beautiful,” said Wilton Selectman Kermit Williams. “They did a great job and it turned out extremely well. It’s high-quality construction. I think it’s going to make their jobs a lot safer and make it more comfortable for the firemen to serve the town. There are some extra spots for turn-out gear in the back and hopefully we can recruite about five or six more people to join in”.
The Sweeney family of Wilton was impressed with the new addition. “I think it’s great they finally have the services that they need. The expansion and the room they have is wonderful because it affords them the opportunity to assist the community in a more rapid response,” said Lisa Sweeney. Her 8-year old son Andrew’s favorite truck he saw on the tour was the tanker.
“I love it”, said Deputy Chief Jim Cutler who was been with the department 28 years and added, “It’s nice not to have to share the bathroom with all the supplies we have.”
Cutler said the decontamination room has a shower and a washer and dryer specifically designed to wash fire gear. “If there are problems and the guys come back from a fire they can rinse things off and the gear goes right into the washer and dryer. The washer spins so fast, you think it’s going to take off. It usually comes out 90 percent dry and after that it goes in a little dryer. In two hours we have a clean set of gear.”
Chief Dick looked at a scrapbook that belonged to former Chief Stan Schultz whose son Tom Schultz and grandson Jonathan Schultz presented to Dick, along with a light off the 1936 fire truck. Dick commented on a photo of a 1963 fire truck that is still in service and added, “You don’t see too many of these anymore.”