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Keyes fire officials ask for community's help as they hope to build new fire station

A Stanislaus County fire department is in need of a new fire station
A Stanislaus County fire department is in need of a new fire station 02:09

KEYES – Fire officials in Keyes hope to build a new fire station. They say the 60-year-old fire station is outdated and unable to meet the needs of the community.

Now, they're asking for help from the people they serve.

"We have firefighters on shift working between 12, 24, or 48 hours at a time and our station wasn't built to accommodate that," said Keyes Fire Chief Roy Jindar Singh.

The fire station used to be able to accommodate volunteer firefighters but that's not the case anymore.

Singh said the station is too small for modern fire trucks. The one they have is custom-made to fit inside and always needs to be filled with water before being parked inside.

"If it is empty of water it will not fit in our engine bay. That's how tight it is between the top of the engine and the top of the garage door," Singh said.

Right now there's currently no area to sanitize equipment from toxic chemicals. Firefighters also use makeshift dorms because there are no sleeping quarters.

Outdated electrical and plumbing, which can't be supported by modern equipment, is also an issue.

"The station hasn't grown as it's been needed," said Lad Hackler, the chairman of the Fire Protection Board.

This is why Hackler is pushing for a new building.

To fund it, the board is considering a $7 million bond measure for the November 2024 ballot. If approved, it would secure local funding that the State cannot take away.

"With the community support we can pass this bond measure and build the station within the next few years," Singh said.

The measure would cost property owners about $29 per $100,000 of assessed value annually, averaging $10 per month.

Hackler said while it may be a nuisance to homeowners, it's critical to meet the growth of the community.

"It's cheap insurance to have fire and medical five minutes away rather than 15 or 20 minutes away," Hackler said.

The district is still considering putting it on the ballot in November of this year.

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