LAWTON, OK (KSWO)- Lawton has its first new fire station since the 1980's.City leaders joined firefighter and neighbors for the grand opening of Fire Station 8 on Monday morning.
It's on Bishop Road between Southwest 52nd and 67th Streets and took almost 6 million dollars to build. The new station is the result of the city's 2015 Capital Improvement Program.
Fire Chief Dewayne Burk said this station will give people living in southwest Lawton a faster fire and EMS service response time. Fire station 8 is the largest in the city and the first one to be added in 37 years. Firefighters said it has several upgrades that will make the facility feel like home.
Captain Russell Matheson has been with the Lawton Fire Department since 2010. He is stationed at fire department number 4, but can't wait to transfer to new station.
"Very excited, we are really excited beautiful facility, really excited to get moved in and start making some responses out of here," said Matheson.
The station will serve citizens living in the southwest part of Lawton.
"Its going to be a real assets, its going to lower the response times for area of the city so we are real excited," Matheson said.
Project Chief Engineer Billy Trammel believes the upgrades will be a home away for home for firefighters.
"It's very nice, its got all the modern facilities, we have a fitness area, we have a patio area, the kitchen is a little bit larger, the living room is a little bit more accommodating for the men that will be on shift, and its really what we see as an industry standard throughout Oklahoma," said Trammel.
The facility also has three 80 foot bays, and a maintenance bay to store the trucks. Lawton Fire Chief Dewayne Burk said the additional space makes the job easier for firefighters.
"The three drive through bays allow us to pull around and come through the station where we not having to back in that's where typically majority of the accidents with large apparatus like fire trucks occur anytime you are backing them. This allows us to pull through the station its just safer environment for us to pull out of," said Burk.
And there are several things the station symbolizes to him.
"One we are bringing our facilities up to date and moving this direction we have toured other facilities around the country. we went to a conference out in the Chicago area and toured some out there we have toured some in OKC, in Norman and this kind of brings us up to par with those other cities and with what they are doing we try to incorporate a lot of the new things that stations now require," said Burk.
Burk adds the location of the news fire station shows the growth in the southwest part of Lawton. In the next few years he says you can expect to see a lot of construction and development in the area.