Colo. dept. gets $2.7M fire, EMS station
The Beulah Fire Protection and Ambulance District in Beulah received a significant upgrade to its response capabilities in the form of a new station
By Zach Hillstrom
The Pueblo Chieftain
BEULAH, Colo. — The Beulah Fire Protection and Ambulance District in the mountain town of Beulah west of Pueblo recently received a significant upgrade to its emergency response capabilities in the form of a new, $2.7 million fire station.
The new facility, located at 8675 Central Ave., opened its doors on Jan. 23, replacing the outdated and undersized building that had previously been occupied by the volunteer agency.
"The station that we were in was built in 1952," said Bryan Ware, Beulah Fire Protection and Ambulance District Chief. "And simply, trucks built in that era were much smaller than the needs today, so much of our apparatuses were not fitting in there."
Due to the lack of space, the protection district had previously been forced to rent out an office to house its administrative duties, and one of its two ambulances had to be stored off-site.
"So now with the new station, it's all under one roof," Ware said.
In addition to centralizing the department's resources, the protection district is now able to add new apparatuses to its fleet, after its spacial limitations had previously rendered it impossible to do so.
"We simply couldn't put it anywhere," Ware said.
"Only 3 percent of our response area-- which is 111 square-miles -- only 3 percent of that area has hydrants in it. That leaves the other 97 percent relying on water tenders and water shuttles if a fire occurs.
"With this expansion, it allows us to move some of the apparatuses that we had at our Water Barrel (Road) station -- which is our station No. 2. --up to this primary station.
"In turn ... we'll be getting two, 4,000-gallon water trucks from Pueblo County (Public Works) that they're donating to us. So that's going to significantly increase our ability to protect our citizens and visitors to our area."
In addition to the larger space and its increased storage capabilities, the new facility contains sleeping quarters and a fitness center to accommodate department personnel, should Beulah develop in the future to a point at which the protection district would need to staff emergency responders around-the-clock.
Ware said the station was designed not only to better accommodate the needs of Beulah citizens and visitors right now, but also in the decades to come.
"We kind of built this with the concept of a 50-year plan," Ware said.
"The station should sustain growth and its capabilities within its current setting for at least a 50-year period."
When the protection district took over fire services in 2013, the construction of a new station was identified as one of its top priorities and a committee was formed to study the feasibility of a new station the following year.
The bulk of the funding for the project came through a 2016 mill levy passed by Beulah voters, which approved the district to take out a loan of up to $2 million over a 20-to-25 year period.
For the remaining funds needed, a 6 1/2 acre parcel of land was donated to the protection district --an $80,000 value -- and the district was able to secure $300,000 in grant funding from the Colorado Department of Local Affairs, $40,500 from the US Department of Agriculture, $35,580 in cash donations, $18,100 from the Fire Auxiliary, and $55,000 from the sale of the old fire station.
A total of $166,000 also was donated through in-kind services.
The project broke ground in August 2017, and construction began Feb. 25 of last year.
It was finally completed on Dec. 20, and the new station officially opened its doors on Jan. 23.
"The biggest thing is we're now under one roof and we're increasing our capabilities," Ware said.
"Those are the biggest things when we look at serving our citizens: making sure that at the end of the day, we're doing the best that we can with what we have. So I think we're hitting the nail on the head there."
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