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Towanda Fire Rescue is running out of space and looking to upgrade

KSN News
KSN News
 2022-08-10

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TOWANDA, Kan. (KSNW) – Tight quarters. A Kansas fire chief said his department needs more space. Right now, there is not enough room for the fleet. He said it could impact how fast crews respond to an emergency.

The inside of the Towanda Fire Station is currently like a game of Tetris, with several vehicles unable to fit inside. The fire chief said this isn’t ideal, and a new station would provide more support to the community.

The current Towanda fire station was built in the 1970s. It now holds five vehicles inside with two overflow vehicles outside.

“It’s difficult to open two adjacent truck doors at the same time because they bang. It’s difficult to get people through the aisles. Everybody’s got to be moving the same direction,” said Towanda Fire Chief Tom Pyle.

Chief Pyle is hoping for a new facility that would also add more services to the town of about 1,500.

“We’re also looking at things like perhaps an ambulance bay in the fire station. If we had an ambulance here in town, and we have quite a few medical calls in our small town, that would improve response times to our citizens,” said Chief Pyle.

The mayor of Towanda and the city administrator both agree upgrades are necessary. They said they are currently looking for a new location for the fire dept.

“The guys do a great job with what they have, and we will just see. You know, I hope that we get to grow the department more and at this point, we’re exploring options,” said Andy Newrey, the City Administrator.

Chief Pyle said a new station could also be a storm shelter for the town, host events for the community and be a place locals can check their blood pressure and heart rate. He said if plans move forward, this will likely become a bond vote in a future election.

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