CASSTOWN — The Casstown Fire Department station personnel commissioned Upper Valley Career Center welding students and Scott Steel to design a special gate for the station’s mezzanine area.
According to Casstown Volunteer Fire Department volunteer Mike Phillips, the station is undergoing a renovation project, adding three rooms to the station. The station was built in 2004 and an office, workroom, and a gear room have been added. The renovation work was completed almost entirely by volunteer members in their free time.
The mezzanine area will be used for storage and training. The UVCC welding class designed, cut, welded, and painted the gate for the mezzanine. Aaron and Scott of Scott Steel donated the materials for the project. Camilla Ali, a UVCC and Troy High School senior, designed the gate. UVCC seniors Isaac Egbert (Anna High School), Elisha Burch (Jackson Center High School), and Ethan Aufderhaar (Botkins High School) cute and welded the gate. UVCC auto and collision and repair technologies students juniors Aubree Roberts (Piqua High School) and Breana Jones (Sidney High School) painted the gate.
“They did a fantastic job,” Phillips said.
Phillips said the gear room is used to hold fire suits and equipment to keep it away from the exhaust from the fire apparatus, a push from the industry as part of its cancer initiatives.
“We needed to remove our turnout gear, radios, computer, and printer away from the exhaust in the bay area,” Phillips said. “This will help us keep the gear out of the exhaust, give us a controllable environment to dry our turnout gear, and keep the carcinogens out of the bay when we hold fundraisers, training, and community meetings. This doubles as a great opportunity to use the area so that we can be in a heated and well-lit area to complete training during the winter months for our firefighters and other local departments.”
The project used the department’s general fund savings to pay for the rooms. The department is supported by its tax levy, funds from its contracted townships and the village of Casstown, as well as grants and donations from organizations and local families.
Like many volunteer departments, Casstown Volunteer Fire Department is actively recruiting volunteers to respond to the scene of not only fires, but other emergencies.
“Almost all volunteer fire departments need more volunteers,” Phillips said. “Without the help of the community to keep this volunteer fire department running, the taxes that are currently designated for fire and medical emergencies will increase dramatically. This will be something that will place a burden on everyone.”
The Casstown Volunteer Fire Department will host its biannual barbecue chicken dinner this Sunday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the firehouse located at 4210 E. State Route 55, Casstown. For more information, to buy tickets for the dinner or to learn how to volunteer, visit www.casstownfiredepartment.com.