Cramped Quarters: Jesup looks to new emergency services facility - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Cramped Quarters: Jesup looks to new emergency services facility

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Dealing with cramped quarters will soon be a thing of the past for first responders in Jesup. The city is building a new emergency services facility to house both ambulance and fire departments under one roof. 

"Reinforce the force" is the motto for the campaign, asking the community of Jesup to support their volunteer emergency departments. 

Construction started in July for the new building, which will be located next to the current fire station at 711 Hawley Street. 

Jesup Mayor Larry Thompson says the new facility is much needed for the growing community. 

"We're getting ready to start a new subdivision, and people want to come to a community that is growing- not in just homes, but in services for the community," said Mayor Thompson.

The current fire station, built in 1953, is more than sixty years old.

The site offers little to no space at 3600 square feet, forcing fire trucks neck and neck in tight quarters. 

"In order for two people to get into the truck, they have to pull the truck out because there's not enough room for someone to get in on the passenger side," said Mayor Thompson. "It's just really cramped quarters. They're building fire trucks bigger and better than what they did in the past years, and the trucks are getting bigger, our room isn't getting any bigger."

The Jesup volunteer fire department has 35 firefighters who respond to 120-140 calls every year, covering a 120 square-mile area. Jesup's volunteer ambulance department has 19 volunteers who respond to 200 calls annually, covering a 140 square-mile area. 

Mayor Thompson says timing is crucial in each of those calls.

Currently, in the fire station, fire crews have to climb through the middle fire truck just to reach the far end truck in the garage-causing volunteers to waste minutes that matter.

The city hopes housing both departments under one roof will improve communication and response times in emergency situations. The new building will also offer more space for meetings, and training for both departments.  

The new facility will be three times the size of the current fire station, and be powered by a generator. 

"Our generator does dual purpose, it also supplies power to our well," said Mayor Thompson. "So now if the town was ever without power, we would always have water."

Construction is expected to wrap up by the end of September.

The city has more than a million dollars of tax money earmarked for the project, and they're hoping to raise $750,000 in donations from the community. 

For more information on the project and for information on donating, you can visit the city's website

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