URBANA, Ill. (WCIA) — Big upgrades are coming to the Urbana Fire Department.
It’s a project 30 years in the making.
“This is new ground for a lot of people here, great for the community, great for the fire department who hasn’t seen an upgrade, I think the stations themselves probably 50 or 60 years old of the two that we’re replacing,” Tim Cowan said.
Cowan has been a part of the planning process the entire time.
He was on hand to present the ideas at a community engagement meeting.
Urbana Fire Chief, Kent Dade says they aren’t adding new stations, just building two new ones to better serve the needs of the community.
“Just has to do with the age of the buildings, age of the buildings when they were originally constructed,” Dade said.
The plans are all part of the city’s recent facilities assessment. They are trying to address infrastructure that needs repairs.
“We have equipment that we didn’t have 50 years ago you know when these stations were built,” Diane Marlin said.
Cowan says it’s been a fun journey to be a part of.
“It’s been a fantastic learning process, just understand what are the challenges we have present be able to be apart of that and solve that,” Cowan said.
As for the fire department, we asked the chief what will be new. He says they’re upgrading the station’s environment to make it more relaxing for crews when they get back from a call, but that’s not everything.
“The biggest change for us when we get to the station is the safety for our members,” Dade said.
That includes protecting firefighters from long-term health effects like cancer. Mayor Diane Marlin says it’s all about planning for the future.
“We’re building for the next 50 years, it’s not just for today or tomorrow, it’s for the next 50 years,” Marlin said.
The projects are planned at Firehouse #2 at 2103 South Philo Road and Firehouse #3 at 1407 North Lincoln Avenue.