A project years in the making started last week when contractors began shoving dirt around the site of the new fire hall in Boyd.
Construction on the new facility, which will serve as headquarters for Wise County Emergency Services District (ESD) No. 1 and Boyd Volunteer Fire Department, is fully underway after a long wait.
“We’re excited about finally starting the construction process,” said Randy Ingram, Wise County ESD No. 1 Fire Chief. “It’s good to see some positive results from all the hard work the ESD board has done. It’s something that was started years before I even got here.
“It shows the taxpayers of the ESD what their money is going to and will make their fire department more efficient.”
At more than 9,000 square feet, the new fire station will be three times the size of the current station. It will cost approximately $1.3 million and take approximately eight months to complete.
“We’re just doing the dirt work right now,” said Neil Wiersum, superintendent with Speed Fab-Crete. “We hope to have the pad finished by Friday and start drilling some piers by Monday.”
Speed Fab-Crete, of Kennedale, also constructed the Wise County Animal Shelter.
The station will be paid for with tax dollars collected through Emergency Services District (ESD) No. 1, which covers 80 square miles in and around Boyd. The ESD collects a property tax of 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.
“One thing I insisted on having, and the board went along with, was a workout area, so we can get in a little better health to do the job the taxpayers want us to do,” Ingram said. “It might also draw younger firefighters to be down there more often to work out and help out the old-timers like me, too.
“The body goes through a lot of stress as a firefighter, especially at certain times of the year. Getting physically fit helps the body handle that stress.”
ESD No. 1 is run by a five-member board appointed and approved by the commissioners’ court. There are approximately 400 ESDs in Texas. Last year the ESD 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 to 2008.
Ingram has more than 45 years experience as a firefighter. He first got involved in 1967. He was a member of North Richland Hills fire department 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.