Photo by Matt Stensland
Oak Creek Fire Chief Chuck Wisecup talks Wednesday about the living quarters recently completed at the Stagecoach Fire Station.
Steamboat Springs Ten beds line the upstairs of the Stagecoach Fire Station after adding five bedrooms, a kitchen and a living area to the facilities. The new addition on the fire station makes it possible for large fire crews to stay at the station in case of forest fires and allows out-of-area firefighters to work for the Oak Creek Fire Protection District.
Oak Creek Fire Chief Chuck Wisecup said the housing, showers, kitchen and living area, complete with a donated pool table, will make the station a hub for firefighters in the area.
The living area still needs a few finishing touches, but one member of the Stagecoach fuel mitigation team already is staying at the station, he said. The fire crews also used the new housing as a base of operations July Fourth.
Wisecup said the new bedding will help bolster the number of firefighters because applicants must live within the fire protection district in order to ensure a fast response time on emergency pages.
Wisecup said with the addition of a residency program, responders can spend their required time during the shifts — either as volunteers or paid members — at the fire station even if they live out of the area.
Construction on the station started in February 2006 and has continued in phases.
“When voters approved the mill levy in 2002, it was on the premise of getting a fire station here so their insurance would drop,” he said.
For people within 5 miles of the station and within 1,000 feet of a hydrant, insurance dropped as much as 50 percent, he said.
Firefighters also are going to be required to spend more of their time at the fire station during the coming months. Wisecup estimated firefighters are spending about 50 percent more time in the Stagecoach area as a result. The station covers about 400 homes in the area.