Open house planned for South Callaway fire station addition

Four fire trucks are stored in the three-bay Fire Station No. 5 at Reform in the South Callaway Fire Protection District. A new three-bay building addition is planned to the right of the current structure.

Four fire trucks are stored in the three-bay Fire Station No. 5 at Reform in the South Callaway Fire Protection District. A new three-bay building addition is planned to the right of the current structure. Photo by Don Norfleet.

REFORM, Mo. - The South Callaway Fire Protection District has scheduled a groundbreaking ceremony for 5 p.m. and an open house 5 to 7 p.m. Saturday for a $360,000 expansion of Fire Station No. 5 at Reform.

People attending the Saturday evening groundbreaking event for the 4,200 square-foot addition will receive free soda, hamburgers, hot dogs and potato salad. Games for youngsters also will be provided at the event.

Fire Station No. 5 of the South Callaway Fire Protection District is located on Route CC just south of the Callaway Energy Center’s nuclear power plant.

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Architect’s drawing shows the planned new $360,000 three-bay building addition on Fire Station No. 5 located on Route CC at Reform in the South Callaway Fire Protection District. The new structure will connect with the existing three-bay building at left.

Fire Chief Jeff Wallendorff said volunteer firefighters want people in the community to attend the event to learn more about the expansion.

Wallendorff said the expansion will be financed entirely by local property tax funds collected by the district.

The addition is more than twice as large as the existing 2,000-square-foot fire station.

Wallendorff said the Reform fire station has no room for training and is too small to meet the needs of the department.

Two fire trucks are now parked in one bay at Fire Station No. 5 at Reform. The new three-bay building will allow the station to have one bay for each fire truck, plus room for later expansion of vehicles.

“We also plan to use a resource truck and other equipment to help lower our ISO rating,” Wallendorff said.

The ISO rating is from the Insurance Service Organization. It rates fire stations on the categories of equipment, water supply, alarm and dispatching services, training and personnel.

Wallendorff said the new fire station may decrease insurance rates for some residents of the fire district near the station.

Homeowner insurance rates are based partly on the local fire station’s ISO rating as well as the geographic location, homeowner’s credit rating and record of previous insurance claims.

Although the Reform Fire Station is located near the Callaway Energy Center, Wallendorff said the nuclear plant has its own self-sustaining fire brigade.

He said Fire Station No. 5 is designed for the needs of residents living in the South Callaway Fire Protection District, not just the nuclear plant. He said the South Callaway Fire Protection District has five fire stations located at Mokane, Tebbetts, Portland, Hams Prairie and Reform.

“They all work together and we also have mutual aid from other fire districts in the area,” Wallendorff said.

Access to the district’s stations located along the Missouri River at Tebbetts, Mokane and Portland are subject to being cut off during periods of flooding, he said.

The firm winning the competitive bid for the $360,000 addition to Fire Station No. 5 is HLW Builders Inc. of Fulton.

Wallendorff said the new 60-by-70-foot addition will be placed next to the current fire station. Interior access between the two buildings will be provided.

The new structure will include three bays for fire trucks, a storage area and a kitchen.

“It will have 16-foot side walls. It also will have an eight-inch concrete floor with heating embedded in the floor. “We plan to use hot water heat for the building radiating from the floor,” Wallendorff said.

Wallendorff said the kitchen was added with the intention of providing live-in volunteer firefighters at the station at some point in the future.

“That’s not part of the current plan but we added the kitchen now because we plan to have live-in volunteers in the future,” Wallendorff said.

He’s seen it work elsewhere.

“That has been very successful in Holts Summit and in the Central fire districts,” Wallendorff said.

Captain Seth Wilcox of the South Callaway district said the current Reform fire station is small compared with the equipment needs of the station.

Wilcox said having live-in volunteers at some time in the future at the station would speed response times to fires.

“They still would be volunteers and receive no compensation just like the rest of the volunteers,” Wilcox said.

In exchange for having free housing, those living there also would be the first to arrive at fires and be on duty every day and night.

“In other areas where volunteers live in the fire station,” Wilcox said, “the response time is from two to four minutes as opposed to the normal eight to 10 minutes.”

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