TUMALO, OR -- The Deschutes Rural Fire Protection District No. 2 is designing a new Fire station to replace the Tumalo Location. Dave Howe, Bend Fire Battalion Fire Chief, says the current Tumalo Station is too small and not set up to accommodate a crew large enough to meet current standards. "It served really well, but it really only was set up, essentially, for only having one person. Having one person on an engine is substandard and is unsafe for normal Fire Department operations, so we now have a standard of three people on each engine, which means we need to have three people in the station, minimum."
An Open House will take place at the current Tumalo Fire Station, on 4th street in Tumalo, this afternoon from 4 to 6 pm, and Howe says the purpose is to hear what the residents think of the new plan. "We want the community to really see itself as a partner with us in protection ... fire protection, injury protection. So, we're trying to be as transparent as possible, say 'Hey, this is what we're planning. This is your Fire Station, we are your Fire Department.' So, we're hoping that people will give us some constructive input, and also, hopefully, will appreciate what we're doing."
According to Howe, one of the best parts about getting this new Fire Station is that the District has been saving for it. "This is not going to cost any more. The District actually collects taxes every year and what they do is, they put aside a little bit every year, to make sure that they can afford a station or whatever they might need, so there's not going to be any tax increase at all, it's going to be pretty much handled by the budget."
Howe says the house that's next to the current station, on 4th street in Tumalo, will be relocated and renovated into affordable housing and the entire property will be used to create the new Fire Station.