West Valley Fire announces 'much-needed expansion' to their facility

West Valley Fire Expansion
West Valley Fire Expansion
Posted at 4:43 PM, Apr 15, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-15 18:43:07-04

HELENA — The West Valley Volunteer Fire Department announced an addition to their Forestvale station.

The fire station announced they will add four fire bays to hold more fire trucks inside. Click here for a model sketch of the four bays.

The new addition will also have three more offices.

The announcement also comes with revisions to the existing building such as expanding living quarters to accommodate more firefighters as well as expand their laundry room. The Fire Chief says they are becoming more aware of cancer risks in the fire industry and expanding the laundry room would bring cleaner fire gear, more often.

The total cost of the project is over $750,000.

Overall, the Fire Chief says the plan is to provide a cleaner environment inside the station that will, in turn, meet the growing calls to fire departments.

“We're able to do it because of the community support we have, but as you know, we got a lot of growth, a lot going on, our calls are going up,” says Jerry Shepherd, West Valley Chief. “We're just trying to figure out a better way to take care of the community."

For the last two years, West Valley has covered over 700 calls annually, the most ever. The Fire Chief is hopeful the additions will be completed by the end of summer 2021.

With the expanded living quarters, Chief Shepherd has a goal to implement a fire residency program for college students in the future.