CRANBERRY UNVEILING

Expanded fire station dedicated

May 15, 2019 Cranberry Local News


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Firefighters stand at attention Saturday during the dedication ceremony for the newly expanded Park Fire Station on Route 19. Space on the first floor accommodates administrative offices, a kitchen, a conference room and several work rooms for preparing incident reports.Seb Foltz/CRANBERRY Eagle

CRANBERRY TWP — Cranberry Township Volunteer Fire Department members reflected on the past and looked to the future at Saturday's open house to showcase the newly expanded Park Fire Station on Route 19.

Ed Hestin, fire department president, spoke about the honor the firefighters feel celebrating 60 years of service to the community.

An example of that commitment is Andrew Hack, who has been with the department for every one of those 60 years.

Hack attended the dedication and is still an active member.

When the original fire company, formed in 1959, needed a building, Hack and the other members had to raise the money and build the station with their own hands, Hestin said.

“We are thankful, these days, to have other means so we can focus on training and responding to fires,” Hestin said.

The unveiling of the new portion of the fire station included tours of the two-story structure and full basement. The expansion, which began in 2018, was part of a $1.6 million project and included a renovation at the Haine Fire Station.

New addition to Cranberry Township Fire Department building includes a kitchen, multiple sleeping quarters, gym, offices, work/teaching spaces and a multi-use room. Seb Foltz/Butler Eagle

The new space is designed to make spending time at the station more comfortable, productive and rewarding for volunteers.

With new overnight housing for volunteers, Chief Larry Clutter said department members will not only be able to rest in between serving the community and fulfilling their duties — particularly when bans of snow or thunderstorms are hitting the area — but it will also allow for quicker responses to emergency calls.

“I hope everyone can see a common theme of promoting members to treat the station like a family,” Clutter said.

Space on the first floor accommodates administrative offices, a kitchen, a conference room and several work rooms for preparing incident reports.

Photo by Alexandria Mansfield.Members of the Cranberry Volunteer Fire Department cuts the ribbon Saturday at the unveiling of its new addition to Park Fire Station on Route 19.

Those work rooms, complete with wireless Internet, can also be used by daytime volunteers who are able to do their regular jobs online, allow members to spend more time at the station.

The expansion is part of the township's effort to increase the number of volunteer firefighters, strengthen the department's sense of camaraderie and reduce response times, which currently average a little under 10 minutes.

New addition to Cranberry Township Fire Department building includes a kitchen, multiple sleeping quarters, gym, offices, work/teaching spaces and a multi-use room. Seb Foltz/Butler Eagle

In addition to improved areas for volunteers, a glass-enclosed exhibit room at the building's front showcases one of the fire company's first engines — a 1928 Pirsch pumper that was purchased from another fire department shortly after Cranberry's company was formed. It remained in active duty until 1967, according to the department's website. The pumper was later restored to showroom condition by fire company members under the leadership of firefighter Jim Cole.

Cole, Hestin, Clutter and other company leaders who spoke during the dedication ceremony extended thanks to their families, township supervisors and the community for their support of not only the expansion project but the volunteer fire department overall.

Photo by Alexandria Mansfield. Cranberry Township Volunteer Fire Department President Ed Hestin speaks Saturday at the unveiling ceremony for the addition to Park Fire Station on Route 19.

The company is hoping to design and implement a memorial space in front of the addition to Park Fire Station to honor deceased fire company members. Hestin said the space should be ready in time for the department to celebrate its 60th anniversary this summer.

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Alexandria Mansfield

Alexandria Mansfield

Alexandria Mansfield is a community reporter at the Cranberry Eagle. She worked as a freelance reporter before joining the Eagle staff in July 2018. She graduated from Indiana University of Pennsylvania's journalism and public relations department in 2018 and from Wellsboro Area High School in 2015. While at IUP, she served as a reporter and editor at The Penn, the university's student-run, twice-weekly newspaper, and earned first place awards from Pennsylvania News Media Association and Pittsburgh Black Media Federation in 2017 and 2018, respectively, for her news coverage and investigative reporting.