ST. CHARLES TOWNSHIP – The Fox River and Countryside Fire/Rescue District, which responded to its first emergency three years ago this month, recently marked another milestone: the opening of its new Station No. 3.
“It’s working out incredibly well,” Chief Greg Benson said.
Located on the former Wise-Hamlin Plastics factory property at Carl Lee Road and Route 25 in St. Charles Township, the facility replaced the district’s station on Gilbert Street in South Elgin.
Benson said district personnel moved into the $2.2 million building at the end of February, just months after the October groundbreaking ceremony. At about 15,000 square feet, Station No. 3 is more than twice the size of Station No. 1 in Campton Hills, Benson said.
The bulk of the station’s footprint – about 10,000 square feet – is dedicated to the apparatus bay, which houses such equipment as a command vehicle, engine, ambulance and boat. Noting that nothing is “shoehorned in,” Benson pointed out space for even more vehicles.
Space immediately outside the bay can be used for training exercises and, eventually, helicopter landings, Benson said. The station’s other features include laundry facilities, a bunk room, a kitchen, a workout area and a training room that doubles as a community room.
“This is a community facility,” Benson said, noting the Board of Trustees made that clear.
The board now holds meetings in that room, which is named Gaffney Hall after board president Jim Gaffney in recognition of his leadership and vision.
“I’m really happy with everything,” Gaffney said of the new station. “It’s a great asset for the community.”
The community room has a sink, a refrigerator and access to a public restroom. Those wanting to use the space should contact district administrator Mary Ryan at 630-584-3473, Benson said.
The district plans to host an open house so the public can tour the new station, Benson said. A date has not yet been set.