Boyd Volunteer Fire Department plans to move into a new station by springtime.
“We’re pretty excited about it,” said Randy Ingram, Wise County ESD No. 1 Fire Chief. “People have been talking about this idea for years. Now we have an architect and a preliminary drawing. We’ve hired a contractor. And in the next 30 to 60 days we’ll start scratching the ground out there and preparing the site.”He expects the department to move into the new station by next spring. The 9,000-square-foot facility will be located on Farm Road 730, across the roadway from the Precinct 3 County Barn.
It will cost approximately $1.3 million.
The station will be paid for through tax dollars collected through Emergency Services District (ESD) No. 1. The ESD is a taxing entity that covers 80 square miles in and around Boyd. The ESD collects 3 cents per $100 valuation. Ingram said there is no need to raise the current tax rate to cover the cost of the new station. And the ESD already owns the site.
The new station will include an exercise room with workout equipment, a kitchen area, a training area and exhaust removal and a laundry room. It also will be ADA compliant and have separate facilities for men and women. These are all features lacking in the current building.
Ingram acknowledged Boyd Fire Department has had trouble fielding some emergency calls during the daytime. The new station might attract some new volunteers.
“Right now it’s tough to recruit and retain volunteers,” Ingram said. “When I started in 1967 you just had to show up and be able to drive a truck. Now it requires a lot more training. And it’s become even more difficult in this economy.”
Although BVFD has a 25-member roster, Ingram said only 10 to 12 of those members respond on a regular basis. The department receives 800 to 900 calls per year.
“We do plan on increasing our service level,” he added. “We have to keep our current members and recruit more. We also need to keep training.”
ESD No. 1 is run by a five-member board appointed and approved by the commissioners’ court. There are approximately 400 ESD’s in Texas.
Late last spring Wise County ESD No. 1 hired Ingram on a part-time basis to serve as chief. It’s his second time serving as chief of an ESD, as he served in the same position in Springtown from 2006-08.
Ingram has 45 years experience as a firefighter. He first got involved in 1967. He was a member of North Richland Hills fire department in 1972 and joined Arlington’s department in 1972 where he retired from service in 2006. He’s also a current member of Salt Creek Volunteer Fire Department.