NOLANVILLE — Late-shift volunteers often have to crouch and dodge the station’s low-slung roof if they want to catch some shut eye. The bunk area’s 4-foot ceiling is one of the many improvements Jason Worsdale, chief of the Central Bell County Fire and Rescue station, hopes to raise enough money to fix in upcoming months.
“The people that volunteer and give all their time and energy here to support deserve better than what they’ve got,” he said.
Needing at least $80,000 annually to keep the lights on, the station is trying to raise $150,000 to fund needed renovations and repairs. Worsdale expanded this year’s fundraising to include gofundme.com, a kickstarter-like web page for individuals and organizations. So far, the station has raised $1,215 from 15 donors.
“Our guys have slowly been going out-of-pocket (to pay for renovations,)” he said. “We’ve been working on the kitchen, replacing the floors and the walls because they were moldy.”
The volunteers also created and paid for a new lieutenant and captain’s office in December.
The station has gone 15 years relatively untouched since it was built in 1990. The garage’s spray-on insulation is noticeably chipped away, leaving fire trucks’ tanked water supply in danger of freezing during cold spells.
There are obvious cracks and potholes in the small, somewhat paved ramp leading to the garage.
The larger parking lot used by both city officials and station volunteers remains in its original, chalky gravel state.
In general, the temperature of the entire station fluctuates due to poor insulation.
“This (station) is our home away from home,” said Justin Russell, volunteer lieutenant colonel firefighter.
“We spend most of our (night shifts) upstairs, and some of the guys want to have better sleeping areas. ... The ceiling is just short.”
Forty-three total volunteers actively work 12-hour shifts and split one bathroom and one standing shower, Worsdale said. He thinks the crew has just outgrown the building.
“There are one or two competitive grants that you can put in for,” he said, referring to financial aid for stations. “And we’ve put in for these grants, but nationwide everyone is going for them.”