Expanded firehouse, new trucks celebrated

Open house planned at Pikesville station

November 08, 2003|By David Anderson | David Anderson,SUN STAFF

The Pikesville Volunteer Fire Co. will hold an open house tomorrow to dedicate its newly renovated fire station and new fire equipment.

The fire company spent more than $1.6 million on the station at 40 E. Sudbrook Lane and the equipment, said Capt. Samuel Dansicker, the company commander. The three new pieces of equipment cost $863,000 and included an aerial tower truck that can be used to rescue people from high-rise buildings.

The open house will run from noon to 4 p.m. and will include tours, demonstrations, free blood pressure tests for seniors and children's activities. The dedication begins at 3 p.m.

Dansicker said the renovations and equipment purchases were in response to changing needs in the community. A company survey three years ago revealed that 13 mid-and high-rise apartment buildings had been built in Pikesville since the firefighters bought their first ladder truck in 1987. The company needed better equipment to rescue people from those buildings, Dansicker said.

The first new piece of equipment was delivered in May. It's named Tower 323 and cost $700,000 with all of the equipment. The truck holds a 95-foot high tower with a bucket on the end in which firefighters can place victims.

Firefighter Bill Levin said it's easier to bring someone down from upper stories in the bucket than to carry the person down a ladder.

"It's a beautiful piece of equipment," Levin said. "It's firefighter-friendly and very, very stable."

The tower was used successfully during fires in Woodlawn and at the Sheppard Pratt Health System, firefighters said.

The company also bought an ambulance and a Chevrolet Suburban chase vehicle, used to bring extra personnel to fire scenes. They were delivered in August.

The 40-year-old fire station was redesigned to accommodate the new vehicles. Three new vehicle bays will hold the tower and other firetrucks. Other renovations, which took about a year, include glass roll-up doors, new ventilation systems and a biohazard decontamination room for firefighting equipment.

The money came from community contributions and low-interest Baltimore County loans. Levin said firefighters raised the money at bull roasts, fill-the-boot drives and from mailings sent to residents.

The fire company has 160 members, 85 of whom are active firefighters.

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