The City of El Dorado officially opened El Dorado Fire Station No. 2 Tuesday afternoon.
“What is a fire station? What does it mean to our community?” asked Captain Tony Yaghjian.
He said it was more than brick and mortar and more than a garage to house the fire trucks.
“It symbolizes safety, dedication, honor and valor,” said Yaghjian. “It is a place where children can come and visit the fire fighters and see their matchbox cars in real life and climb on them.”
He said fire fighters spend one-third of their lives at the fire station, including holidays, birthdays and anniversaries.
“The city spared no expense ensuring you have the best,” he said.
He reminded people, whether their emergency is big or small, the fire department will respond with dedication.
Fire Chief Ken Nakaten said the station was a culmination of a process over 25 years. Former Fire Chief Ralph Green had the vision to see this happen.
“In 2010 we got the green light to move forward,” Nakaten said. “At the same time some questioned if it was necessary.”
He said it was and they have seen a drop in response times since it opened Dec. 1 of at least 1 1/2 minutes.
“Those response times will continue to drop as time goes on,” Nakaten said.
He thanked the city commission and recognized the work of Kraybill Architects and Dondlinger & Sons Construction.
“We’re real proud of this facility,” said City Manager Herb Llewellyn, “and like Ken said it’s a culmination of a lot of work.”
Mayor Tom McKibban also spoke during the ceremony.
“The Commission spent your money and we feel like we spent it in a place it needed spent,” he said.
He thanked the fire fighters for everything they do to keep people safe.
Rather than a ribbon cutting, they followed the approach of fire service and held a hose uncoupling with the fire fighters and city staff. Followed by a radio page out of the new fire station stating: “The City of El Dorado Fire Department would like to announce the opening of Fire Station #2, 2600 W. Sixth Avenue. And welcome aboard its crew and apparatus which will serve this community with vigilance, honor, dedication and pride. We would like to wish this fire house and those assigned to her safe journey and the skills necessary to provide the best possible service to our visitors and the citizens of the City of El Dorado. Placed into service the 19th day of February 2013.”
Page 2 of 2 - “We are very grateful and humbled to have such a great facility,” concluded Yaghjian. “It is not every day you can open a fire station. We look forward to serving you with honor, service and valor on every call.”
Yaghjian then presented Llewellyn with his own fire hat for when he shows up on the scene of fires.
Following the ceremony, refreshments were served and tours were given of the station.