The Hyrum Fire Department is on the move to their new 8,400 square foot, nearly $700,000 building within the next week, said Fire Chief Kevin Maughn. The building has taken four years to build. The money has been saved over a 20 year period, with a real push the last three to five years.
Soon the fleet of a dozen vehicles, currently housed in two buildings, will be under the same roof. The new building is the first phase of a three phase project. The next phase is to raze the old firehouse and build an administration building that houses a kitchen, restrooms, laundry facilities, offices and a conference room for teaching and doing drills.
The third phase will be living quarters, but he said he doesn’t expect that to happen for a while.
The Hyrum Fire Department has 32 volunteers that cover not only the growing city of Hyrum, but Millville and Nibley. The Hyrum Fleet includes three brush trucks, two structure trucks and an interface truck used for wildfires in the surrounding mountains and rural areas. They also have a truck to pull their hazardous materials trailer, two medical trucks and more.
As far as a full-time department with sleeping quarters and all, that is not in the works at this time, he said. Full-time fire departments are the biggest expense a city has.
There is enough space in the building to add a ladder truck. The department needs the ladder truck because of the nine schools in their coverage area, and the commercial structures of Zollinger’s Cold Storage, Malouf, Millers and the business park referred to as the turkey sheds on the east side of town.
“We have about 200 fire calls a year and 150 to 200 medical calls a year,” he said. “We expect that number to rise with a new senior living facility in town and the residential growth we are experiencing not only in Hyrum, but the other communities in the southern part of the valley.”
Maughn said they were the first fire department in the state to have a first responder unit. While other departments have given up on a Hazardous Materials Unit, Hyrum still has theirs. The Hyrum hazardous material apparatus is a specialized piece of equipment used by hazmat responders in situations with potentially hazardous materials.
He said thirty percent of the time they get a second call while in service on an existing call.
“We are prepared for more than one call at a time,” he said. “And our medical truck is also ready at any time.”
Maughn said Cache County has a mutual aid agreement set up with other fire departments, including Logan City, Wellsville and Paradise Fire Departments.
“The Wellsville department can get to the Livestock/ Equestrian Center before we can and Logan’s Fire Department can get to Zollinger’s before we can,” he said. Mutual aid is working in both ends of the valley.
Maughn began as a volunteer firefighter 37 years ago, and was the assistant fire chief 14 years, and five years as the fire chief. He said the new fire house is the culmination of two previous fire administrations.