MARION, Iowa (KWWL) — Today, the Marion Fire Department paid tribute to the 343 Firefighters who were killed during 9/11, 18-years-ago.
The Department broke ground on its new station headquarters, dedicating it to the hero’s who lost their lives saving others.
The groundbreaking took place today at noon at 100 Irish Road.
Marion Fire Chief Deb Krebill was first hired back in 1991. She was part of the team recruited to fill Station 2, which had just opened at the time.
“I was one of the firefighters that spent the first night here,” said Krebill.
Today, both station 1 and 2 are maxed out with personnel and equipment.
“Some of our new rookies don’t have beds, they have cots so there’s one of the things. As far as our apparatus we’re constantly moving it around, trying to find the best fit for the fastest response,” said Krebill.
Now 28 years later, she’s breaking ground with her crew on a much needed third station.
“So a good national average is to have a fire station for every 10,000 people so right now we’re 2 stations behind,” said Krebill.
The new headquarters will help the Department keep up with Marion’s booming growth. In areas like Hunters Ridge and Alburnett Road response times are falling behind what Krebill would like to see.
“Our response times have grown considerably to those northern residents and that’s not right. The national standard is 4 minutes response time for any fire department. So we’re hoping with this new station we’ll be able to get to them much faster,” said Krebill.
The meaning of the day wasn’t lost on anyone in attendance. Krebill holding a moment of silence to remember the lives lost during 9/11.
“I’ll never forget that day. I remember it vividly,” said Krebill, “They sacrificed themselves to save others. We think about that sometimes, it’s tough for us. That’s why it was so fitting to open a new station in honor of them really so that we can go out there and protect lives even better.”
The new headquarters is going to be two stories and have innovative features, one of which is a system that’ll help firefighters sleep when they get the time.
“Firefighters are having more heart attacks and in studies, they’re finding it has to do with the disruption of sleep cycles,” said Krebill.
The project is expected to cost $9.3 million. According to the city, $3.5 million is being funded with local option sales tax dollars. The rest from GO bonds and other funding sources.
The station is expected to be in service in October 2020.