As eastern Parker County expands so does the need for additional infrastructure. That’s why on Tuesday members from Parker County Emergency Service District 1 - (ESD 1) and the City of Aledo came together to celebrate the groundbreaking of a new fire station to be located at all places, “911” Bailey Ranch Road.
“It’s exciting,” said Stephen Watson, District 1 fire chief. “It takes a long time to put a project like this together. Just finding the land was a challenge. The Bailey family worked with us on the land and we’re so grateful for that.”
In 2013 residents of the Aledo Fire District voted to Annex into ESD 1 that spring. It allowed the fire department to increase and provide better services.
The original fire department was located on the south side of the existing one, now owned by Aledo Cornerstone Church. The station then moved next door because they outgrew the original facility.
“The existing fire station on Mesquite Street was never purposed to be a fire station,” Watson said. “It was a machine shop. We were outgrowing the facility and there were a lot of things about it that didn’t meet our needs anyway.”
The new station, set to open in mid-summer, will have a staff of two firefighters and a captain; the assistant chief will also office out of the new facility.
“Of course we will still maintain a volunteer department, as a supplementary response, that operates out of the station,” Watson said.
The station will also act as a “regional hub” with a larger than normal training room capable of accommodating more than 30 fire fighters in need of training.
“We have six stations scattered throughout the county so it will be regional asset,” Watson said. “We’re super happy about it. “It will be a facility that will meet our needs for the next 25-30 years.”
The new fire station is approximately 8,500 square feet and cost just under $1.2 million.
“We worked hard to make it aesthetically pleasing and at the same time not incur such an exorbitant cost,” Watson said. “After all it’s not fire stations that put out fires, but fire fighters and fire trucks that do. We like to put that money to work.”
Mayor of Aledo Kit Marshall said it simply solidifies what ESD 1 told the public when they originally voted on annexation.
“This will improve the location for this valuable resource and improve the safety of our residents, their property - both present and future - and the greater community,” Marshall said. “Especially when coupled with the new station underway in Annetta South. It’s a winning collaboration.”