[cifnmedia] Tilghman to get new firehouse

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  • To: "Sean Aaron" <cifn@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>,"Brad Dietrick" <bradfurniturefirst@xxxxxxxxxxx>,"BRAD DIETRICK" <badleybreak@xxxxxxxxx>, <cifnmedia@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Mon, 26 Apr 2004 14:15:43 -0400

      Tilghman to get new firehouse
      * New facility will provide ample room for future 
            By: JOHN GRIEP , News Editor  04/26/2004 
           Photo by ERIN FLUHARTY   

      Demolition of the Tilghman firehouse recently began to enable 
construction of a new facility at the site. The remaining hall was demolished 
Monday. Tuesday morning all that was standing of the current firehouse was the 
engine room. 


      TILGHMAN - Work has begun on a project to build a new, modern firehouse 
that would provide sufficient garage and meeting space for the Tilghman 
Volunteer Fire Company and the community it serves.

      Demolition of the old firehouse - a store and Red Men's Hall bought by 
the fire company in 1938 - began recently. The new firehouse - a 
12,600-square-foot fire and emergency medical services facility - will be built 
on the site, with completion scheduled for this fall.

      "We'd like to be under cover by October for Tilghman Day," said Levin F. 
"Buddy" Harrison IV, a member of the company's fund-raising committee. The 
annual Tilghman Island Day festival is one of the fire company's largest 
fundraising events.

      In the interim, firefighting equipment and ambulances will be housed at 
two locations, with the fire station temporarily located near the Knapps 
Narrows Bridge on the island. Temporary administrative offices will be located 
in the park just across the street from the firehouse site.

      Fire company officials said the plans call for a 5,000-square-foot 
banquet room with a commercial kitchen and a 7,600-square-foot engine bay with 
support offices. The engine bay will house Tilghman's two pumpers and Advanced 
Life Support ambulances, a tanker and a brush truck. There also will be a bunk 

      "Our facility has been inadequate for 20 years," Karl Grogan, 
fund-raising chairman, said. "We have talked about a new facility for many 

      The current engine room is 4,200 square feet and the existing meeting 
hall is about one-third the size of the proposed banquet room.

      Fire Chief Dewayne Stewart said the lack of space creates problems.

      "Right now, you can't walk between two trucks parked in the engine room," 
he said.

      Officials said a larger banquet/meeting area also is needed since the 
firehouse serves as the island's community center.

      Harrison said the new firehouse, to be built by Gardner Construction and 
Development, will cost $1.1 million.

      "This is a major project for us," he said. "Not that buying a fire truck 
or ambulance isn't, but we're used to doing that."

      The Tilghman Volunteer Fire Company was organized nearly 80 years ago and 
incorporated in 1938, when the current building, and a used 1932 fire truck, 
were bought.

      Additions to the building were made in 1945, a game room was added in 
1963 and the structure was remodeled in 1970. Seven years later, the ambulance 
room was torn off and the current engine room was built, according to officials 
and histories of the fire company. The building has had several different 
configurations and rooflines.

      "Over the years, the firehall has been the central place in the 
community," Harrison said. "When we came to the realization we needed to 
expand, we had to decide between adding on or demolishing and starting over."

      He said demolition and new construction would be quicker and would 
provide the department with a new, modern facility.

      Harrison and Stewart said the new facility will allow for future growth 
of the company.

      "We've built with future expansion in mind," Harrison said. Fire company 
officials planned for the facility to be sufficient for the next 20 to 25 years 
"because you can't do this kind of facility every five years."

      Complete story appears in the print version. 

      To subscribe to the print edition click here. 

      ©The Star Democrat 2004  

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