Residents impressed by Mishawaka's new Fire Station #4

Hundreds of Mishawaka residents stopped by to look inside the city's new fire station on Harrison Road during a dedication ceremony Sunday afternoon.

The new building has been about a decade in the making and replaces the old station on Lincolnway East, which the department's been using for the past 84 years.

That station was so old, the department had to order a custom truck so it would fit inside.

"Right now, this station is able to handle any equipment we park in here, unlike the other station" said Mishawaka Mayor Dave Wood. "We're able to get multiple crews in here, more importantly we're able to get an ambulance in here."

The added space means the department can respond to more calls, improving safety in Mishawaka.

In addition to more space, the new station was built to keep firefighters comfortable when they aren't responding to calls.

It features a large kitchen, private bedrooms and a large TV room with reclining chairs.

"A third of their life is spent at the fire station," said Mishawaka Fire Chief Dale Freeman. "So, imagine that as you will, we try to keep things comfortable for them."

While the facility was built for firefighters, Freeman says they also kept the public in mind.

It features a 60-seat classroom where firefighters will undergo training, but Freeman hopes to eventually open it up to residents.

"We're trying to get the community really engaged, be that CPR classes, be that first aid classes, just about anything you can think of," Freeman said. "We really want to engage the citizens and to train the general public."

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