Highland Fire Department discusses fire station plans

Highland Fire Department discusses fire station plans »Play Video
COWICHE, Wash. -- Voters agreed to put up more than $2 million on a bond for the Highland Fire Department in 2012. It’s money to replace and update two fire stations.

A new fire station will replace one in Cowiche.

"It's cramped,” said Yakima County Fire District 1 Board Chair Phil Nelson. “It's actually probably been dangerous to work out of. We've never hurt anyone."

Highland firefighters said neither of their stations meets the state's current safety standards. However, they're not required to because they were built before the standards took effect. Despite that, voters gave the OK to build modern facilities.

"When you need an emergency, you want to be ready for it, and I just think it's outdated," said Robert Dewey.

Some of you expected to see something by now. While there's no construction yet, here's the plan for the Cowiche station. The ground level features a community room and kitchen. The second floor will have an exercise room and three dorms.

"We want to make it worker-friendly for them, an environment where they will be able to come in and take classes," said Nelson.

Right now, the fire department is working on a building permit as well as the interior designs. Fire officials hope to put out bids for construction in May and start construction in June.

"We're looking 50 years out, so we're building sleeping quarters into it,” said Nelson. “It'll be built for full-time staff somewhere in the future."

The plan is to have the new station ready by March 2015. The Highland Fire Department will meet in May to discuss remodeling plans for the Tieton station. The bond will also pay for equipment for the department.