The South Central Buchanan County Fire Department is looking for community feedback to potentially build a new firehouse in Faucett, Mo.
“We are hoping to bring the public in from our fire protection district and talk to them about the possibility of building a new firehouse for the district here in Faucett,” Faucett Fire Chief Dennis Johnson said.
The current fire house at 14323 SE 371 Hwy, was originally built as a schoolhouse in the late 1960s and was not built to withstand the heavy trucks and equipment used to fight fires.
“The building has been here quite a while. It was not manufactured to be a firehouse,” Johnson said. “We’ve got a number of challenges that we have to address as time goes on if we are going to improve the fire protection for the district.”
Over the years the fire station has made in-house repairs, but volunteers say the station itself is too small to accommodate the needs of the community.
“The bay area is too small. We have three fire trucks in a two bay area. It’s nearly impossible to work on the trucks or to work on the equipment on the trucks inside of the building,” Johnson said.
The South Central Buchanan County Fire Department covers the 80 mile span south St. Joseph with two firehouses located in Faucett and in Agency. According to Johnson, the Faucett firehouse responds to over 350 calls each year.
Jeff Grubb, Faucett fire station lieutenant and chairman for the Central Buchanan County Fire Protection District said all firehouses in the district are volunteer, limiting the number of responders at each incident.
“We have guys that run out of both fire houses. Most of us will run calls on both stations, because our resources are limited depending on what time of day it is,” Grubb said.
Firefighters at the Faucett station are hopeful the renovations will help attract new recruits and provide them with a place to house fire engines and EMS trucks.
“Possibly, we are going to have a bay area for the ambulance to park there when they are able to. Our fire trucks are here, but we work with Buchanan County EMS and most of their stations are in the St. Joseph area,” Grubb said.
With EMS stationed in St. Joseph the average response time for medical emergencies in Faucett is between 10 to 15 minutes, depending on the location of the St. Joseph EMS.
The property to build a new station has already been purchased at the expense of the fire department. However, the funding for the construction of the new firehouse will be determined by a public vote.
Firemen will host a Town Hall at the Faucett firehouse on December 7, at 7 p.m.to speak with the community on the need for a new firehouse. If the public approves of the construction of a new firehouse, an initiative will be placed on the April ballot.