City celebrates new Public Safety Facility on North side
With a very large pair of scissors and a few words, Quincy’s mayor, Paul Worley, officially opened the city’s new Public Safety Facility on April 25.
A small group gathered on the north side of the new facility, at 111 Central Ave. N., for the opening ceremony.
“Our new building is finally here,” Worley said, standing behind a long golden ribbon and flanked by two Quincy City Council members, Andrew Royer and Sonia Padron. “We are hoping to make it safer on this side of town. Thanks everybody that was involved.”
After the ribbon-cutting, Worley said the building is an example of taxpayer dollars at work. An idea for a facility like this had been talked about for years, to place emergency responders on the north side of the railroad tracks that run east-west through town. There had also been talk of an idea for an under-pass or bridge over the railroad tracks going back many years, Worley said, but the cost was prohibitive, and for a bridge the state would have required a design that would have eaten up a lot of space.
Padron, who is a City Council member and a volunteer with the fire district, said the new facility is a beautiful place and she looks forward to it serving the north side of town with quicker service, to increase public safety with emergency medical services and firefighting.
Don Fortier, chief of Grant County Fire District 3, likewise said it is a beautiful building. The city owns the building, and contracts with the district for services, and this is more of that service, Fortier explained. In developing the design for the facility, which GCFD3 calls Station 30, the district had a small role, reviewing the plans.
“We’re excited,” said Tony Leibelt, GCFD3’s deputy chief, as resident firefighters were about to move into the facility. “It’s obvious Quincy is growing, and it will support growth into the future a long time.”
Two firefighters were expected to move in this week. By mid-June, all Quincy and George resident firefighters positions will be occupied, Leibelt said. Volunteers will also be assigned at the new facility.
Also present for the ribbon-cutting was Gene Reed, who is a retired assistant chief of the fire district. The city used to have three bays in downtown Quincy, where the police station is now, for parking firefighting vehicles, but Reed said the new Public Safety Facility is not directly a replacement for those bays. There were no resident firefighters there, Reed recalled, and there was not as much capacity there as at the new facility.
Protection 1 provides ambulance service coverage to the city and outside the city in the area of the fire district, on contract with the district and the city. Brian Williamson, Protection 1’s owner, attended the ribbon-cutting and had two ambulances parked in the bays already. Having a facility that allows for parking the vehicles indoors helps, he said.
The company plans for a rotating two-person crew to be stationed there, a paramedic and an emergency medical technician, living on-site.
“It’s nice bringing everyone together … the rigs are together; eating together; answering calls together,” Williamson said.
Protection 1 will continue to have ambulances and staff also at Quincy Valley Medical Center, he said.
The Public Safety Facility cost the city in the neighborhood of $3.5 million. On March 20, 2018, the City Council approved awarding the Public Safety Facility project to DGR Grant Construction Inc. at an estimated cost of $3.7 million.
By Dave Burgess, firstname.lastname@example.org