$1 Million Grant For Fire Headquarters

September 27, 2016

Representative Joe Serra joined his colleagues in the legislature to celebrate the State Bond Commission’s anticipated approval this Friday of a $1 million state grant to help renovate and modernize the South Fire District headquarters.

The grant will help renovate and modernize the South Fire District headquarters on Randolph Road.

“Ensuring that our first responders have the proper facilities and equipment they need to do their jobs is a top priority,” Serra said. “This funding will benefit the residents of the South Fire District and our dedicated firefighters.”

The South Fire District was built nearly half a century ago when it was a volunteer department answering a few hundred calls a year. The department now employs 32 firefighters and operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and handles 2,900 calls a year (about eight emergency calls a day), ranging from EMS services to house fires, motor vehicle rescues and hazardous materials incidents. Their call volume has also increased 30 percent since 2011 when they took over coverage of the Connecticut Valley Hospital.

The new state funding will be used to:

  • Construct an additional 1,600 square feet of office space for operations and administration
  • Construct a new computer equipment room and file storage room
  • Add a women’s locker and bathroom
  • Renovate the existing men’s locker room
  • Expand dormitory space by 420 square feet
  • Modernize building mechanicals for maximum efficiency
  • Paint walls and replace the apparatus room ceiling

“This state bonding is huge, as far as our ability to continue to meet the needs of the taxpayers in the district. We had to be aware of and pursue alternative sources of funding this expansion in order to minimize the impact on our taxpayers,” South Fire District Chief Robert Ross said. “This state grant will allow us to expand and modernize the department both in terms of energy-efficiency and operations.”

“After speaking with Chief Ross, there is no doubt in my mind that this building was in dire need of expansion and modernization. And if the State of Connecticut couldn’t help with the cost, it was all going to fall to local taxpayers,” said state Senator Dante Bartolomeo of Meriden. “The bottom line is, we secured state funding for Middletown, and this is going to help taxpayers living in the South Fire District both save money and stay safe.”

“Middletown's South Fire District has seen their call volume increase exponentially in recent years, and this grant will allow for a modernized fire station that will help meet the growing demand on their services,” said Senator Paul Doyle of Wethersfield.

“The professional firefighters at the South Fire District handle approximately 2,900 calls a year and are responsible for protecting the entire campus of Connecticut Valley Hospital. We fought to secure this grant because it is absolutely vital to ensuring that South Fire remains properly supported and can continue defending the safety of this community.”

“This is great news for the South Fire District and its taxpayers,” said state Representative Matthew Lesser of Middletown. “A fire district needs capital projects and equipment, but most of all it depends on having brave and dedicated trained first responders. I will continue to do everything I can to support the South District and its firefighters.”

“Ensuring that our first responders have the proper facilities and equipment they need to do their jobs is a top priority,” state Representative Joseph Serra (D-Middletown) said. “This funding will benefit the residents of the South Fire District and our dedicated firefighters.”

The State Bond Commission is scheduled to approve the Middletown bonding when it meets this Friday, September 30, 2016 in the Legislative Office Building in Hartford.