Check out the new fire stations

About a year ago, people from Jim Skelton’s southeast Wichita district walked a picket line along Main Street in front of City Hall asking the city to build a fire station in South City. It couldn’t happen soon enough for Skelton. But it will happen sometime around the end of 2008, fire officials say. Above are conceptual designs of all three fire stations that the city council approved. (Just click on the images for a larger view.) The first is Station 20, which will be built in far east Wichita. Station 21 will follow in west Wichita. And, finally, Station 22. Land hasn’t yet been acquired for Station 22, but Assistant Fire Chief Mike Rudd said the city is working on that. The new stations will have separate dorm-style rooms instead of the more open rooms that firefighters sleep in at other stations. The two-bed rooms are intended to give firefighters more privacy and help attract more women to the profession. The large rooms next to the fire truck bays on Stations 20 and 21 are there to house alternative communications centers if something disables dispatch and communications downtown. Local community groups could also have meetings there.

We’ll update you with new station addresses and a precise timeline soon.

(If you’re curious where other city fire stations are, click here.)
(If you’re interested in becoming one of the 31 new firefighters the city plans to hire, click here.)