Cost: $30,000 purchase price
Timeline: 3 to 6 months
Use: Fire and EMS training facility
Funding: Capital Improvement, community donations
The City of Hesston recently invested in a new building located across the street from City Hall.
The building, formerly occupied by H&H Meats has sat vacant for nearly five years, according to City Administrator John Carder.
Emergency Services Director Russ Buller said the location was almost ideal for use by the department.
“Obviously, in a perfect world everything important to an operation would be under one roof. We have an excellent Emergency Services facility in the center of our community that has no room to expand. Our next best option in keeping our training and the equipment that we train with close together is to go next door,” he said.
In addition to streamlining training, Buller said the formerly abandon building will be maintained.
Carder said the opportunity to improve the long-vacant building came at a much lower cost than the building was originally marketed. Carder said after nearly five years on the market, it was unlikely the property would once again have commercial uses.
“It had sat empty and the price had dropped by half. It was unlikely to reopened as a commercial business and the price drop made it more affordable. The city made a formal offer for a further 30 percent reduction,” he said.
Buller said the building, which will be used as a training facility, will help Hesston emergency personnel respond to calls.
“As you may or may not know it takes a significant amount of training each year to maintain our Fire and EMS certifications for example, Firefighter one and two, EMT, Paramedic, Hazmat, etcetera.
“We also provide ongoing continuing education to maintain high standards in the services we provide. Last year departmentally we completed over 2,000 hours of continuing education with approximately another 3,000 hours in initial education for our staff. This facility will be utilized as the primary location for our Fire and EMS training. I should also note that our staffing has increased over the past year and we have outgrown our existing training room. This facility will allow for our current staffing and future growth as well,” he said.
For Hesston EMS the building represents not only expansion, but better service and a recruiting tool for more volunteers as the demands of the department grow.
“Anytime we can enhance the training of our Emergency Services staff it will have a direct translation into the quality of services we provide. Having a professional training facility not only improves our recruitment of new staff it also provides an excellent environment for us to train the new personnel,” said Buller.
To read more, see this week's print edition.