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Archive for Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Eudora firefighters, city workers moving into new public safety building

July 10, 2013

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Eudora Fire Chief Ken Keiter, center, visits with Eudora Fire and Medical crew members Justin Simonich, of Kansas City, Kan., left, and Peter Friedel, of Overland Park, as the department begins moving in equipment Wednesday at its new building at 10th and Main streets in Eudora. Over the next few days, the crews will move into the new facility, and they will hold an open house July 27 during Eudora's CPA picnic.

Eudora Fire Chief Ken Keiter, center, visits with Eudora Fire and Medical crew members Justin Simonich, of Kansas City, Kan., left, and Peter Friedel, of Overland Park, as the department begins moving in equipment Wednesday at its new building at 10th and Main streets in Eudora. Over the next few days, the crews will move into the new facility, and they will hold an open house July 27 during Eudora's CPA picnic.

For weeks, the volunteer firefighters of Eudora have been packing boxes, eager to move into the department’s new home at 10th and Main streets.

The big day came today, when the firefighters began carrying in smaller items, joined by police and municipal court employees, who will share the new public safety building.

It could not have come too soon, said Eudora Fire Chief Ken Keiter. The firefighters will likely be at the station late into the night, settling in, he said, but won’t move the fire trucks until the final city and fire inspections are complete later this week.

“We knew this day was coming,” Keiter said. “Absolutely, it is going to make such a big difference, not only in terms of comfort but in terms of space.”

Construction on the new public safety building began last year, prompted in part by a 2010 audit of Eudora’s fire department that revealed the space in the city’s public safety building at 840 Main St. was too small to safely house heavy fire trucks. The bumpers rested only inches from the wall in the 8,000-square-foot building.

Firefighters and police had noted other shortcomings in the older building, which also housed both fire and police. For firefighters, there was no kitchen or shower facility. For police, there was nowhere to meet with victims and witnesses except in the lobby, in view of other people coming in to make payments at the municipal court clerk’s window a few feet away.

The new building takes care of the space issue for the fire trucks and can comfortably accommodate up to five firefighters a night, Keiter said, which is important for a department that depends on retaining volunteers. The building also promises more space for the police and will house the municipal court.

Though space issues and showers may seem like small things, Keiter pointed to a Sunday morning fire in Eudora that occupied his volunteers for more than four hours. “It would have been nice to take a shower,” he said.

The new building sits on land formerly occupied by the old Eudora Middle School and was funded with $2.84 million in bonds approved by the Eudora City Council last July. The city will hold an open house at the building July 27, during Eudora's CPA picnic.

Comments

Todd Kennedy 1 year, 5 months ago

Now to get Lawrence a new public safety building..

not4me 1 year, 5 months ago

2.84 Million, approved by the city council... Now the citizens of Eudora can cough up the money for the City Council's plan. There was NO VOTE on this project by residents of the city. Looks like the "Good ole Boys" got another one over on the residents of Eudora.

light 1 year, 5 months ago

Addressing not4me's comment:. It isn't for you: am I guessing? I am a citizen of Eudora and have seen the town in these 17 years double. This new building houses our police, emergency medical response team and fire station. This building multi-tasks and is sorely overdue. Yes, I pay taxes here and am so thankful for the city's wisdom in this endeavor.

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