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St. Joseph Fire Hall expansion offers flexibility

On hand for the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the addition to the St. Joseph Town Hall/ Fire department are, from left, Adam Notch, project manager for the general contractor Sundance Construction of Hastings, Bruce Paulson, engineer for Bonestroo, Fire Chief Ron Burton, Town Chairperson Theresa Johnson, First Responder Chief Tom Carlson, St. Joseph Town supervisors, Kevin Adkins and Brian Gullickson. Photo by Margaret Ontl1 / 2
A crew from Lake View Ambulance was on hand to celebrate the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the addition to the St. Joseph Fire Hall. From the left are St. Joseph Fire Chief Ron Burton, Lakeview Ambulance on duty crew member Terry Fischer, St. Joseph First Responder Cheryl Carlson, St. Joseph First Responder Chief Tom Carlson, St. Joseph Fire Captain Dave Milbrandt, Lakeview Ambulance crew Jon Muller and Colleen Morchinek. The addition means Lakeview will at times be able to keep an ambulance on site. Phot...2 / 2

Saturday, Sept. 25, the addition to the St. Joseph Fire Hall was celebrated. The project included the 80- by 40-foot apparatus bay and unisex bathroom and shower for the department.

More shifting around within the existing building will create a training room on the first floor, which will be available for the town when two meetings are scheduled in one night. The upstairs will be converted into a lounge and day room for firefighters and first responders. They have added additional lockers and are now able to use the high capacity well to fill their tankers.

"Part of the grand scheme of things is for Lakeview to keep an ambulance here," said St. Joseph Fire Chief Ron Burton. "They service this area including Somerset, which is where they currently have facilities. When there a problem with the bridge and in the winter, this is more centrally located for them."

Overall, the $300,000 expansion serves the needs of both the fire department and the town. There are presently 26 members on the all-volunteer department.

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