ST. FRANCISVILLE — West Feliciana Parish Fire Protection District No. 1 will hold a grand opening on Oct. 12 to celebrate the unveiling of The Bluffs Fire Station.
The Fire Protection Board will hold its Oct. 12 meeting at the station in conjunction with the grand opening. The meeting will take place at 6 p.m.
Construction on the station, a joint venture between the Fire District and West Feliciana Parish Hospital, has been completed, and except for a few minor cosmetic changes, it is fully operational. Blount Construction built the facility.
Fire Chief James R. Wood said the new station cost roughly $660,000 to build, with the nearly half-acre lot donated by the former owner of The Bluffs, Claude Penn.
The 4,600-square-foot facility has three bays that are insulated to help protect the vehicles and equipment from severe swings in temperature. There are two firetrucks on-site, and a third bay is available for an emergency medical vehicle.
“We made it as low-maintenance as possible and as aesthetic as possible to fit in with the ambiance of The Bluffs,” Wood said. Two identical 1,000-square-foot living areas have two bedrooms apiece, a kitchen area, radio and communications center, office and storage space, and bathroom. There’s also a generator purchased through federal surplus.
Wood said the station initially will be staffed with volunteers but it could be available for the district’s live-in program.
“This process started when I was chairman of the Fire Board,” said Councilman Mel Percy. “Where we originally were going to put it didn’t work out. Several members of the POA talked to Penn about donating property, and he agreed.
“I think it’s going to be a great benefit to the Bluffs,” said Percy, a former Fire Board chairman and volunteer fireman, whose district will be served by the station. “It’s already attracted several volunteers from The Bluffs. It’ll mean quicker response time for the area, so it’s a great addition for the residents of The Bluffs.”
Wood said the Fire District soon will begin a recruiting blitz to attract more volunteer firefighters. For information, visit wfpfd.org.