CRESTVIEW — Mayor David Cadle recognized three of Fire Station 3’s original 12 firefighters during Monday’s city council meeting. The presentation coincided with the five-year anniversary of the opening of Crestview's newest firehouse on Brookmeade Drive.
FEMA’s five-year Staffing for Adequate Fire & Emergency Response Grant funded employment for Matthew Baker, Matthew Cunningham and Paul Wojtowicz, who were sworn in July 2, 2008 and attended the meeting. The grant made it possible to staff the facility, which serves the town’s east central area.
Eighteen firefighters are assigned to Station 3. Of the original 12 firefighters, Michael Smith, Nicholas Stowell, Joshua Vargason and Corey Winkler, who still serve the city, couldn’t attend the presentation.
The city, which has finished its matching portion of the FEMA grant, is obligated to keep the firefighters on the payroll for at least one more year. However, their jobs are safe beyond that, Fire Chief Joe Traylor said.
"The loss of those 12 employees would have a direct negative impact on the amount of homeowners insurance and commercial insurance for citizens who are served by the firefighters that work out of that station," he said.
The city is midway paying off a $900,000 loan to construct Station 3, using impact fees of $200 per single-family home and $200 per 1,000 square feet of commercial space.
Half of the fees collected is designated to support police; the other half is designated for the fire department, Traylor said, adding, "but because it is a public safety building, all funds go to that building."
Traylor described the inner operations room as a "building within a building," explaining it serves as an emergency operations center for Crestview's fire and police departments.
The reinforced concrete walls and metal roof should withstand a "Katrina-like event," Traylor said.
Want to visit?
Contact the Crestview Fire Department administration, 682-6121, to arrange tours of Public Safety Building 3 or any of Crestview's other fire stations.