September 13, 2008 in Voices

Fire station honors victims

Station 9 dedicated in memory of Sept. 11
By The Spokesman-Review
 
J. Rayniak photo

Spokane Valley Fire Department Pipe and Drum Corps’ Nate Brown and Kurt Kilayko play the “Highland Cathedral” during the dedication ceremony.
(Full-size photo)(All photos)

A new fire station was dedicated Thursday in memory of those who died seven years ago when terrorists crashed airliners into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.

The Spokane Valley Fire Department’s new Station 9, under construction at 12121 E. 32nd Ave., didn’t yet have a flag pole.

Undeterred, firefighters used a 100-foot ladder truck to hoist a large American flag.

Three members of the department’s Honor Guard solemnly marched the colors up to the makeshift staff while six members of the department’s Pipe and Drum Corps played “The Highland Cathedral.”

Chief Mike Thompson read the text of a bronze plaque that will be attached to the front of the station: “Dedicated to the protection and safety of our citizens. May the firefighters that answer the alarm return safely.”

The Honor Guard was dressed in old-fashioned dress fire uniforms while the Pipe and Drum Corps performed in Scottish kilts.

Deputy Fire Marshal Bill Clifford said most members of the corps had no experience with traditional Scottish music when the group was formed in 2004 in memory of 9/11 victims.

“Most of us just kind of learned an instrument,” said Clifford who took up the tenor drum.

“They just do a tremendous service to the community,” Thompson said, noting the Pipe and Drum Corps and the Honor Guard have participated in memorial services all around the state.

The groups planned to join the Spokane County Sheriff’s Honor Guard later Thursday for a 9/11 wreath-placing ceremony at the entrance to the Spokane County Interstate Fair.

In addition to fire commissioners, dignitaries on hand for the fire station dedication included Spokane Valley City Councilman Bill Gothmann and Liberty Lake City Councilwoman Judi Owens. Their cities, as well as Millwood and unincorporated areas, are served by the autonomous fire district.

Joe Dawson, chairman of the fire commissioners, credited voters for a levy-lid lift last year that allowed interest-free construction of the new station.

When it opens at the end of October, the station will replace one in a converted house at 11514 E. 16th Ave. The old Station 9 will be sold.

Thompson said in an interview that the new 7,500-square-foot station, with two truck bays, will have room for more firefighters and trucks in the future if they are needed.

Its stylish brick design “probably will be the standard for any future stations we build,” he said.

Thompson said the new Station 9 is only about $6,000 over its estimated construction cost of $1.4 million, well within the standard 10 percent contingency allowance.

“I’m really pleased with that,” he said.

John Craig may be contacted at johnc@spokesman.com.


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