On the first floor of The Smithsonian in Washington, D.C., is a hand-pumped fire truck (basically a modified wagon) that served the residents of Wilmington, Delaware, starting in 1842. On it, the fire station's Latin motto was written: "Non Sibi Sed Omnibus" — "Not for self, but for all."
That also would be an apt motto for Jefferson City's new Fire Station No. 2, to be located on the east side of Jefferson City at 3025 Robinson Road. Officials broke ground Wednesday at the new station.
The motto reflects the selfless service and sacrifice that goes with the profession of firefighting. However, in the case of our new fire station, the motto would be appropriate to remind local residents the new station isn't being built primarily to provide more spacious, comfortable digs for the firefighters who will work there.
It's for all of us. It's to protect our well-being and our possessions, and, at times, save our lives.
The new station will replace the one at 2400 E. McCarty St., which has served our city well for about eight decades.
It's a 1-mile move that places the new station more in the center of the area it serves, including being closer to the new homes and industries — and the new Jefferson City Correctional Center — that have become part of the city's east end.
Fire Chief Matt Schofield is eyeing an early 2019 ribbon-cutting for the new station.
"The groundbreaking is kind of the first official activity to embark on that new journey," Schofield said in our Thursday edition. "Hopefully it ends in a successful completion of a fully functional fire station serving the community on the east side of town."
The Jefferson City Council approved a $2.9 million contract with Curtis-Manes-Schulte Inc. earlier this month to construct the 10,500-square-foot building. The new fire station will have 2.5 apparatus bays, a training room, bunk rooms and a gear storage room, along with additional amenities like a police substation, training mezzanine, and video surveillance and access control.
Furniture fixtures and equipment, breathing air compressor and bottle fill system, and the remaining professional services under contract are not included in the $2.9 million contract — a total of $216,450.
City residents can be assured what they're paying for is a good use of their tax money. And we applaud the Jefferson City Fire Department for being good stewards of our money. The nearly $3.2 million project is about $470,000 under budget.