Members of the South Sioux City and Dakota City Fire Departments are moving into their new fire station this week in preparation for their upcoming grand opening ceremonies.
Their current stations are too small and outdated to serve the needs of the departments and communities.
South Sioux City's new fire station's design is simple and modern. The building's first floor houses a laundry room, modern kitchen, bathroom, and multiple offices while the second floor has an exercise room, sleeping quarters, and a gathering place with recliners. The building is outfitted with a sprinkler system, energy efficient LED lighting, and a backup generator that will power the entire building in case of an electricity outage. In front, there is an electronic message board that will display community and school news and events.
“(The city) really took the extra step for us,” said Captain Jay Mathis.
The department purchased used desks and office chairs from CF Industries in an effort to save money.
After everything is moved over to the new building, South Sioux City will utilize the former station as needed.
Mathis has been with the department since 1996 and looks forward to the department's next chapter.
"There's a lot of history in this building," he said, referencing the current station, "but with the new building, we're able to grow and expand."
Clint Rasmussen, Dakota City's fire chief, said that his crew is grateful for the upgrade.
“We're just really excited and thankful to the taxpayers,” he said.
Dakota City's new fire station has double the amount of truck bays, with 16 compared to the old station's eight. There is also more space to store equipment and have training sessions.
“Fire trucks and equipment aren't getting any smaller,” he said. “It'll be nice to get all of our equipment inside.”
South Sioux City Fire Department's grand opening ceremony will be Sept. 11 at 11 a.m. followed by an open house lasting until 7 p.m. at the station located on Dakota Avenue. The event is open to the community. It will also feature the reveal of a portion of one of New York City's World Trade Centers, which will become a permanent monument outside the station.
Dakota City Fire Department's grand opening will be Sept. 10 from 2-4 p.m. with a ribbon cutting to kick off the ceremony at 2 p.m. Their station is located at the intersection of 21st and Walnut Streets in Dakota City.