BEND, OR -- Deschutes County Rural Fire Protection District Two will have a pair of new fire halls by fall. Executive Director Gary Marshall says construction is about 60% complete on a new Tumalo fire station (above). At about 8,500-square feet, it's more than twice the size of the current facility, right next door, "It’s a huge upgrade. The firefighter/paramedics just can’t wait to get out of that old station. It was built in 1975 and was built on a very low budget. They continue to have issues with that structure. It just doesn’t meet the needs of a modern day fire station." He tells KBND News, "It’ll have four dorm rooms, three baths, public restrooms, a fitness room, training area [and] kitchen."
The Tumalo station should open in early September, and the old building will then turn into storage. About a month later, Marshall says, a new inner-city fire station will open next to the Bend Police Department (right), "This station’s going to look a little bit different than the Tumalo station. It really resembles the old station that many of us started in, back in the day, over at 5 NW Minnesota Street, which is a restaurant now. We wanted to design an architectural rendering of a very old antique fire station." But, don't let the old-school facade fool you. Marshall says it will have all of the necessary modern amenities. "It’s 10,000-square feet; 1,500-square feet of that 10,000 will be used for a training facility for Bend Police Department," he says, "They’re going to lease that from us, most likely, for the next 10 years." The location at the base of Pilot Butte should also improve response times for fire crews within the core of Bend.
Marshall says he had planned for construction to begin on the Bend station first, but permits were delayed, and then last winter's weather pushed work back at both projects, as well. But, he says things are back on track and he doesn't foresee any other delays.