It’s been a goal and a dream for years for the Howe Fire Department. The department wanted a new home and had been looking for a number of years.
Then last year, things fell into place. Howe Fire Chief Larry Watson was delivering mail when the wife of former fire chief Kenny Warner asked Watson if the department would be interested in the G&K Enterprises building on SR 120. Watson went to Township Trustee Tom Smith and the department took ownership of part of the building in March.
The two service bays on the west side of the building are still G&K Enterprises, but the department has moved into the remainder of the building. The department will get the remaining two bays sometime in the next five years. They made their first run from the new location at the end of July.
There was some work to be done to the 30 year old building before it could serve as a fire station. An antennae was installed at the back of the building. A concrete apron was installed in front of the building. The office was remodeled and communications system installed. The overhead doors got automatic openers and drop cords were installed for the trucks. And there was cleaning to be done. A lot of the work was done by the fire fighters themselves to cut down on costs.
The Lima Township Trustee Office is also now located at the station in an office on the front of the building.
The new location has been great for the department. “We can fit all of the trucks under one roof,” Watson said. Overall, the department now has about twice as much space available to them. Also, the department will no longer have to drain the trucks in the winter. The department also no longer has to back trucks in off the road, as there is plenty of room for them to turn around in front of the building.
The department is already working on plans for additional work to the building, including a new sign out front. Fire fighters are currently looking for donations to help with the cost of a sign.
The new station also opens up a lot of opportunities for the department, including a training room and a training area outside. A fenced in section behind the station will be used in the future for vehicle extrication training and the department would like to be able to do tower training there, as well.
Work continues inside and out of the building. Among the items on the to do list is reinstalling the kitchen equipment brought from the old station, setting up the training area and more.
The Howe Fire Department is planning a community open house to give residents the opportunity to see the new station in person. It is set for Saturday, October 18, with a hog roast. A blue light parade is planned for dusk and there will also be a lantern lighting. More details will be announced as the event draws near.