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New fire station huge asset to city

Yesterday was a monumental day for the West Fargo Fire Department.

Ground was broken for a long awaited new south side fire station at 29th Avenue and Fifth Street West that will literally provide a whole new avenue for fire prevention in the southernmost part of the community.

Great consideration and planning went into the selection of this site, with a land swap the final deal sealer last year, giving fire personnel even a better vantage point in its access to Sheyenne Street, the city's major north and south route extending all the way to 52nd Avenue South.

The new substation was made necessary because of the rapid and expansive growth south of the Interstate during the last ten years, dictating the need for the station to help ensure a shorter response time to emergency situations.

West Fargo Fire Chief Roy Schatschneider noted that site selection has been ongoing for the last decade, adding he is more than pleased with the end location. "Public safety is a top priority, and seconds matter in emergency situations. The new facility will enhance West Fargo's ability to keep residents safe as the city continues to grow."

The south side location will also be an asset for the West Fargo Police Department which will occupy a portion of the new facility, providing them the same response time amenities as the fire officials.

Once the facility is occupied in February of 2011, the goal (with a five-year time frame set) will be to move toward additional staffing, which will go a long way in complementing the current role of the 43-member volunteer squad, always willing and ready to respond on a moment's notice.

The fire department has operated since 1941 in its present location. With a population influx in recent years matched by few other communities, new fire accommodations are long overdue.

Hats off to city and fire officials and all other entities involved for a well-conceived thought-out plan, that will go a long way in insuring enhanced safety for West Fargo citizens for years and years to come.

The new south side fire station will be a real win-win situation for everyone.