WICHITA COUNTY (KFDX/KJTL) — Just west of the Servicemaster location on Seymour Highway, you’ll find the construction site for the new station of Wichita West Volunteer Fire Department.
Six acres, $600,000, one mission.
“With the addition of new, new to us, apparatus and a new piece of apparatus, we are at a base space. We’ve grown in membership, we’ve grown in call volume, so this facility is a very much needed asset to this community,” Assistant Fire Chief Wichita West Volunteer Fire Department Michael Albert said.
In the last year and a half, Wichita West has added three apparatuses, all donated, and a new frontline engine on the way, but there’s just not enough space.
“With the widening of the highway we literally have 30 feet between the roadway and our building so it’s really endangered all of our firefighters,” Albert said.
After receiving an anonymous donation, construction has started for the new facility.
“It’ll expand our training room and office space, kitchen area. We’ll be able to host weather-watching classes, CPR classes, community events, and such,” Albert said.
Albert said behind all the new features the station will provide, he wants the community to know that this is their station more than anyone else’s.
“Not only will it provide a safer environment for our firefighters and equipment, but it’s also something the community can be proud of. This is their fire station. We’re not a taxing entity, we don’t have bond dollars or tax funds that supply us every year like a municipal fire department would. So everything’s donations and the community has donated to make this happen,” Albert said.
This is why the Wichita West VFD needs help funding an additional $150,000.
“Very very blessed to have a donor give us $600,000. With that comes a lot of responsibility. Responsibility to do it correctly, something to be proud of, and we’ve looked at a reasonable budget and a reasonable budget is $750,000 for a complete building. Built-in property with that, we’ve agreed upon ourselves to the fundraising of at least $150,000. We were hoping we’d have to do it for less than that. We’ll use a lot of our own blood, sweat, and tears to help build this, but there are incidentals that come up that we don’t expect,” Albert said.
Albert said by donating the land and also by helping donate for them to reach their goal, you can help them continue to help save lives.
For more ways on how to donate and help the department reach its goal of $150,000 dollars, click here.