A crowd gathered last Sunday in the community of Almont, North Dakota, to celebrate the completion of the new fire and ambulance hall. The weather was perfect for the firefighters to grill burgers and play music for all to enjoy. The ceremony started with Frank Melchoir, Almont Rural Fire District’s president, recognizing all the partners who made the project possible. Members of the rural community had generously donated money and land for the new, modern facility. USDA Rural Development was also a crucial player providing a grant and loan
Jasper Schneider, USDA Rural Development State Director, addressed the crowd expressing the critical importance of timely emergency services. “Seconds matter in emergency situations, it could mean the difference in saving the building or, more importantly, a life,” said Schneider. He continued by thanking the volunteers for their service and heroic efforts and also congratulated them on their dedication in making this project happen.
The Almont Rural Fire District had outgrown their existing fire hall and it was in desperate need of repairs. Since 1963, the Fire District tried to fit their equipment into a 1,300 square foot building located within Almont and 160 square foot shop outside of the city limits. Lacking efficient storage space, one water trailer and one fire truck had to be kept outside. This was a serious concern as water and chemicals may freeze if left in the apparatuses.
The new fire and ambulance hall has 3,600 square feet of space with six garage bays that houses all the Fire District’s apparatuses and one ambulance. There also is a large meeting room and a handicap-accessible restroom. The building provides enough space for the firefighters to conduct training drills too. Previously, they had to do all training outdoors or had to wait until the weather was warm enough to conduct particular exercises.
To find out how USDA Rural Development’s Community Facilities program can assist your rural community, click here.