On Saturday, July 8th Forest Lakes Fire District held a ceremony announcing their plans for a new 5,000 square foot facility. It was a very nice community turn out on this beautiful sunny day. The construction ground breaking was on Monday, July 10th with a projected time of completion by mid December 2017. The building will be a steel structure so the framing will go up quickly. In Chief Rodriquez’s words “This has brought us into the 21st Century and will increase our capabilities.” This much needed facility actually began 11 years ago in July 2006 commencing with architectural plans, financing and much generous help and involvement from the community. Bruce Scott of Gilbert is the Architect for the project and the building will be constructed by Caliente Construction.
The new facility will have a new dormitory that will accommodate six people, and with firemen on site this will greatly improve response time to calls. There will also be an administrative area, an office for the Captain, kitchen and rest rooms. Some areas will be shelled out to be completed at a later date.
On major weekends the community of Forest Lakes can expect 3,000 to 4,000 extra people who come up from the valley and other places. According to Rick Crabbs, PIO of FLFD, their department responds to calls over a 330 square mile area. There are 42 duty staff part timers 24/7 365 days. They have one fire engine, two ambulances and two attack vehicles; initial attack for off-road, meaning they are the first there with water. There is a large water tank properly called a water tender on site holding 1,000 gallons of water. In this small community alone there are 1,000 home sites on one acre plus.
As everyone gathered to listen to the speakers Chief Rodriquez was the first to speak thanking the board members for their vision and their hard work and in his eloquent words he said, “Strong commitment from community got us here today…our community has rallied around this project.” When asked what was needed he has always maintained, “Got to have space for crew members and our equipment.”
Individual community members were recognized for their generous donations. A resident since 1979 named Glen saw the plan and wanted help and donated all the brick and mortar. Another donated fire sprinklers and flooring. There was a donation of concrete block for the foundation. During this time span since the inception of this plan $250,000 has been donated along with fund raising events, and Poker Runs. Chief Rodriquez thanked Zions Bank and Lee Davis for the financing and the very attractive interest rate.
This growth gives all our communities on the mountain more consolation as we unite in keeping us safe from fire, accidents and all devastation.