BEND, Ore. - Preliminary plans for two new fire stations in Bend and Tumalo are being drafted by Deschutes County Rural Fire Protection District No. 2.
The district wants to replace the Tumalo Fire Station and add a new station in Bend near the police department headquarters and Pilot Butte.
These plans have been part of the fire district's and city's goals for a number of years.
Executive Director Tom Fay said Wednesday the current Tumalo Station is too small. It can't accommodate both men and women, and it does not meet safety standards. The station was last rebuilt in 1998.
The district, which contracts with Bend Fire for service outside the city, has been saving money for both stations for close to 20 years, but these are early plans that are subject to change before construction could begin.
The station near Pilot Butte would have a brick exterior and an area the police can use for training, and would look like a traditional fire station.
"The new station in Bend will allow us to respond to the core area calls, where most of the activity is, and keep our outlying stations available for calls in their areas," Fay said. "We will hopefully reduce response times and allow us to respond with better resources."
The district has taken a small amount of tax money that's come in every year and set it aside to create a capital improvement fund to help start construction.
While a new Bend station will expand the fire district's reach, the Tumalo area's setup wouldl remain the same.
"The response area that Tumalo covers won't change, so we will have the same size crew there stationed in that station," Fay said. "It's just that the quarters will be more modern and more in line with what they need in order to accomplish their duties."
Fay said the fire district hopes to submit plans to the city and Deschutes County and the city as early as January, in order to begin construction by early summer, and to complete the stations by the spring of 2019.
However, the district will hold public meetings starting in December or January to get community feedback on sites where the stations would be located and when they'll be built.