The Sedalia Fire Department will display its newly constructed House No. 2, located at 2606 W. 16th St., from 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday offering tours, equipment demonstrations, snacks and a chance for kids to see and get “hands on” with the tools of the firefighting trade.
Although the station opened for service in January, Chief Mike Ditzfeld said he wanted the station to be “totally completed” before opening it up to the public.
“We wanted to make sure the project was completed with all the landscaping and everything done before we actually had our formal open house and unveiling to the public,” Ditzfeld said. “Then we had some weather issues and trying to get some final things done. We fully intended to have our open house earlier, but it just didn’t work out that way.”
Funding for the $3.9 million, 13,000 square foot station comes from certificates of participation, a type of financing where an investor purchases a share of the lease revenues of a program rather than the bond being secured by those revenues. The new facility contains an eight-person bunkroom, a kitchen-living area, workout room, administrative offices and a training facility. It has a four-bay equipment area and many other amenities.
“We’ve got a complete training facility, all our administrative offices out here and dormitory rooms we can expand to have 16 people working out of this building,” Ditzfeld said. “The apparatus bay area is designed for a minimum of four pieces of equipment. So, we have designed a building to not only meet today’s needs, we feel like we have also designed a building that will meet the needs of the community for the next 40 to 50 years.”
In addition to serving the 20,430 residents of Sedalia, SFD provides mutual aid to protect the 19,691 non-city residents of Pettis County. SFD also provides mutual aid to the Missouri state capital in Jefferson City 60 miles to the east and to the facilities and personnel of Whiteman Air Force Base 20 miles to the west. The location was carefully chosen to provide a timely response and correspond with the growth trends of the city.
“We knew the same trends that were taking place back in the ’60s and ’70s with growth in the city on the south and west would continue,” Ditzfeld said. “Rather than look for a different site, we already had an arrangement with this location and we felt it was ideal. Commercial, educational and multi-family dwellings were just springing up out here, so the decision was made that we had the ideal location already.”
On Sunday, officials will say a few words and host a ribbon cutting to kick off the event before displaying what had been a journey of several years from concept to completion.
“We want people to know we are not going to have a big lengthy ceremony. We will have a very condensed ceremony with some opening remarks and a ribbon cutting, but the main thing we want to do on Sunday is open this thing up and show people our equipment and the people that work here and the good job they do,” Ditzfeld said.
As parking is limited at the station, the Chief asked that visitors park in the lot on the east side of the facility. Firefighters will direct motorists to a spot.