Anna Fire Department moves into new home

By Joshua Baethge
For the Anna-Melissa Tribune
The expanded truck bay also gives the city space to run its own ambulance service

The Anna Fire Department is settling into its new digs.  Two weekends ago, the team quietly moved into a newly constructed modern facility.  It’s a major upgrade from the previous station that was originally built for a small-town volunteer department. 

“It’s not even in the same universe,” Fire Chief Ray Isom says. “I used to work in Allen, and this on par with them. It might even be a little nicer than their central fire station.” 

The expanded truck bay also gives the city space to run its own ambulance service

One of the immediate changes that should benefit firefights is the much larger truck bay. The previous facility was designed for much smaller trucks. It’s driveway was short, and drivers had to back into the cramped space.  Now there are long driveways and doors on either side, meaning the engines can pull straight through instead of backing into their parking spots.  

The expanded truck bay also gives the city space to run its own ambulance service.  Anna currently contracts with a third-party vendor for most of its ambulance needs.  That will change next spring when the city receives its second ambulance.  A ladder truck will also be added to the firefighting arsenal next year. 

The expanded truck bay also gives the city space to run its own ambulance service

Those living close to the old station may have noticed firefighters stretching out firehoses on the driveway.  This was done to prevent the hoses from getting corroded with mildew. The practice is no longer necessary because the new facility has a hose drying station inside that can dry them in four hours.   

Firefighters are also enjoying their expanded living areas.  Shared dorms have been replaced by individual private rooms.  Their communing gathering room boasts significantly more space and a large commercial-grade kitchen can accommodate all manner of cooking.  When the alarm rings to dispatch them to a call, the gas to the cooking range automatically shuts off. 

The expanded truck bay also gives the city space to run its own ambulance service

At the front of the building is a large administrative area with meeting and training space.  There’s also a small medical examining room to serve those who come to the station with medical issues.  

Isom believes that people are attracted to the Anna Fire Department because of its good culture and its philosophy of treating people well and doing things the right way.  He says that having a station of this caliber will help raise its professionalism to another level. 

“This facility puts us on the map,” he says. “When you come in here you can see that these guys are serious” 

This is the first completed building for the Anna Municipal complex site.  The old fire station will likely be demolished within the next month to make way for more parking.  The main municipal complex building will be ready for city staff to move into by the spring of 2023.  The police department will also relocate to that building. 

The expanded truck bay also gives the city space to run its own ambulance service

An official ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new central fire station is scheduled for Nov. 19.  The entire city will be invited to come out and check out the new facilities.  Festivities are scheduled to begin at 3 p.m. that afternoon.  Additional details will be released at a later date.