Moving day is rapidly approaching for firefighters in Cornville. New Fire Station 32 of the Verde Valley Fire District is nearing completion. But, don't count on a grand opening right away. Fire Marshal Mike Flummer, who's coordinating the transition, said the formal opening is not planned for three to six weeks.
There are still a number of punch list items to finish in the new building, but officials hope they can begin slowly moving into the new $1.4 million structure. The project will not be completed until the old building, constructed piece-meal over its 30-year life, is demolished and a parking lot paved in its place. Flummer said that is an important part of the construction process.
The new station will open with a new engine, ambulance and a brush truck as well as expanded facilities. The 10,000-square-foot structure will not only be able to house more vehicles, but will have dormitories for male and female firefighters and a training room which may double as a community meeting area.
The station will also have an emergency examination room for walk-in patients. The exam room is necessary to satisfy new federal privacy rules and is not even part of the main station 30 in Verde Village.
Dorms will accommodate a five-firefighter shift. That will satisfy growth with convenient living amenities. Currently, only a crew of three can be housed. Captain Mark Dixson said individual dorm rooms are quiet so crews can get some sleep. He said the constant road noise from Cornville and Page Springs Road and snoring is a big problem now.
And there is no copper fire pole. Fire poles are not considered safe any longer. In fact, the station is built on a single level to avoid stairs, which also are a hazard for rapidly responding crews.
The new station is also self-contained with a back-up generator, atmospheric controlled equipment storage rooms and a 10,000-gallon water storage tank with a hydrant. There is also plenty of room for storage of records generated by the fire division. The station requires three different electrical systems, including one for the DC emergency backup power.
While the Verde Valley Fire District covers 93 square miles, its Cornville Station 32 itself serves 60 square miles and 16,000 residents.