CARLISLE, Iowa — Carlisle is a growing town with a growing fire department, but has a less than ideal fire station…at least until now.
The Carlisle Fire Station just got bigger, with a brand new million-dollar, two-story addition that was paid for by a one cent sales tax increase the community agreed to last year.
The new addition is a big difference compared to what they had to work with before. One room pulled quadruple duty as a meeting room, a kitchen, the bedroom, and the living room.
Now the station has private rooms for 24-hour shifts, a spacious living area, a brand-new kitchen, and male and female locker rooms.
“Which we didn’t have in the past, we had one bathroom with a shower that all of us shared,” said Chief Cory Glover.
A good portion of the department is made up of volunteers, and the added space allows them to stay overnight. That shortens response times, potentially saving lives.
“You figure somebody’s in the station from the time the call comes in at two o’clock in the morning, they wake up and go downstairs, is a minute to get to the truck, versus five to seven minutes, the call goes out, you wake up at home, get dressed, drive down here, get in a truck, and go on scene,” said Glover.
The department is also the proud new owner of a climate-controlled storage room for medicine, which will improve shelf life. Finally, they added piece de resistance: a brand new ambulance custom designed with the latest technology, including an automatic lift for the stretcher.
All the bells and whistles are great, but the ability to house more staff is going to be key for a growing and aging population.
“We have seen a dramatic increase in EMS calls and especially a need for our medical services,” said Mayor Ruth Randleman.
The first responders say they’re grateful for the taxpayers’ financial assistance.
“It’s rewarding to know that people in the community actually care and they’re there and will have your back and take care of you no matter what,” said firefighter Nate Robinson.
The total cost of the upgrades is just over $1.2 million.