The Clifton Volunteer Fire Department could soon be seeking grant funding for a new prefabricated fire station.

The department has just outgrown the current station on Coronado Boulevard, said Chief Rick Varela.

“We’ve got two big trucks and one small truck and one of them is always sitting outside and it’s really not good for it to be under the hot Arizona sun, there are hoses on top that can rot,” Varela said.

In addition, the department hasn’t been able to hold its twice-monthly firefighters’ meeting in more than a year because of COVID-19; the space simply doesn’t allow for social distancing, Varela said.

His firefighters have no room to store their turnouts and without laundry facilities, they’re unable to properly wash their carcinogen-carrying gear following fires, Varela said.

The building also has roof leaks and other maintenance issues, he said.

The department would like to seek roughly $300,000 in grant funding — $150,000 for land, $100,000 for a metal building and $40,000 to demolish a small business on the land they’d like to purchase, Varela said.

The town’s grant committee, made up of Barbara Ahmann, Tony Ortega and Austin Adams, has already given the department permission to seek the council’s approval to pursue $150,000 in grant funding from the United Way, Varela said.

Town Manager Rudy Perez said he, too, sees the need for a new fire station.

If the department is successful in obtaining the funding needed, the police department will likely take over at least some of the old fire department’s space, he said.

In other fire department news, six Clifton firefighters attended the Arizona State Fire School, a five-day training event, in Mesa last month. Four took a basic firefighting skills class and two others took a course on ground tactics and training.

Load comments