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Putnam County Fire Taking Bids For Fire Station 34

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
Putnam County Fire Taking Bids For Fire Station 34

Building plans are approved and Putnam County is taking bids for the construction of Fire Station 34 in Baxter.

Putnam County Fire Chief Jeff Hicks said the new facility would not make the area safer with improved fire protection. Hicks said it would significantly lower insurance premiums for residents by giving the area a “Class A” ISO rating.

“It has to have a certain sized pump, carry so much water, there’s a lot of stuff,” Hicks said. “SCBAs and hose, there’s a lot of equipment it has to carry to get that Class A rating, which counts toward the insurance companies.”

Hicks said this project has been a need for years. He said the county originally planned to build the station at the community center but has moved on from that plan. Bids for construction are due March 12. Hicks said property acquisition will be on the agenda for the March County Commissioners meeting.

“That far out, we put about a 50 by 40 building,” Hicks said. “At least that. Of course, the trucks are, you know, 30, 35 foot long, so we need a parking lot to swing them around in. You know, we can’t put it on just a half-acre lot because you’ll be in the road every time you try to back it in.”

He said the department has two tanker trucks ordered and plans to add a third to the next budget. He said those trucks often take some 18 months to arrive, but he hopes one of the new ones arrives shortly after the facility is built.

“They’re classified as a Class 10,” Hicks said. “10 is no fire protection. If we put a pumper there, they’ll automatically go to nine. If there is a hydrant within 1,000 feet of their house and they’re within five road miles of that station, then they’ll be a six, which nine is a savings because you went from no fire protection to at least some fire protection in five road miles from that station, but six is another pretty good savings.”

He said some 75 percent of insurance carriers consider ISO rating when setting premiums.


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