Posted on 3/7/15
By Melissa Anderson
This seems to be a common word around the Langdon Fire Department (LFD)throughout the past few years. The first and most obvious change is the new firehall.
“We are very lucky to have a community that supports us the way that they do,” says Fire Chief Jeremy Schuler.
“With changes in equipment over the past several years, specifically the size and height of new trucks, we have simply outgrown the old building” Schuler continues
Larger trucks, with higher cab clearances and wider wheel stances, made it very tricky to get in and out of the smaller doors in the old Firehall.
“Several years ago, we formed a Building Committee, along with several members of the City Commission, to look at the possibility of expanding our facility,” stated Schuler.
The result was the new building, which connects with the old firehall. The new building is roughly 8,000 square feet, with a generous amount of room to house the bigger trucks and equipment. There are three large overhead doors that are wider and more than high enough to accommodate the newer styles of trucks. The building houses both trucks for the City Fire Department, as well as the Rural Fire Protection District.
The new rirehall addition was funded solely by local sources and will be repaid over the next ten years, with most of the funds coming from the City Sales Tax fund. The new building houses both department’s three pumper trucks, two tanker trucks, a minipumper and a Suburban, which is used primarily for carrying firefighters to and from fire scenes.
In addition to the room available for the trucks, there is also a large amount of open area that will be used for training purposes.
“We have a pretty good thing going here with training right now,” Schuler states.
“We have a dedicated training committee that comes up with different scenarios on a monthly basis. The extra room in the new addition has come in handy for several of the exercises we have been working on, especially in the cold months when it’s tough to get outside.”
The new addition has a set of bathrooms as well as shower facilities. Each member’s gear is stored in racks along the south wall of the building. These racks hold all the gear each firefighter needs when they are called to a scene.
“The additional room we have to work with has been a great asset to our department,” Schuler adds.
The second change that has happened within the department is the merging of the Langdon Fire Department and Cavalier County Search and Rescue. Cavalier County was one of very few counties in the State of North Dakota that had a separate search and rescue department.
Most search and rescue operations are performed by fire departments around the state, however this wasn’t the case in Cavalier County.
“We had a large number of Firefighters that were cross trained in extrication, so the merge between the two departments only seemed to make sense,” states Schuler.
“Since the merger, almost every single member of the department has completed additional training and is now certified in extrication.”
The search and rescue has moved their equipment, along with other supporting gear, to the old part of the firehall. Now, everything that is needed in an emergency situation is housed under the same roof.
The Cavalier County Search and Rescue Department has two heavy rescue trucks, fully stocked with the equipment needed to remove people from harm in an accident. The department has two sets of the “Jaws of Life”, along with all the necessary supporting equipment needed to perform the required tasks.
There is also a snowmobile, four wheeler, and a Ranger with tracks for rescue operations in hard to reach places. The search and rescue maintains its own funding sources and covers the costs of their operations, as well as the purchase of equipment needed to perform those operations.
“It’s been a good move for everyone involved so far,” says Schuler.
“We have a dedicated group of guys here that are passionate about protecting our communities and surrounding areas.”
The LFD is very proud of their equipment as well as of their new building. They have planned an Open House/Breakfast for Sunday, March 15 so the public can come and take a tour of the new facility, as well as to have a home cooked breakfast.
“We want people to be able to come to the firehall and look at the equipment we have, as well as to check out the new facility,” says Schuler.
“We will have firemen available to show people around the trucks and equipment, so kids and families are more than welcome.”
Serving for the breakfast will start at 8 a.m. and continue until 1 p.m. or until the food is gone, with pancakes and sausage on the menu.
Anyone that is interested is encouraged to come and check things out and everyone is welcome. A free will offering will be made to help the department cover the costs of the breakfast.