Bonner Fire Captain Toby Ballard and his crew of firefighters are justifiably proud of their brand new fire station.

Ballard spoke to KGVO News on Thursday in anticipation of the fire station’s open house coming up on Saturday.

“The old station was built in the 1950’s,” said Chief Ballard. “It was a service station, and at one point it was a restaurant, but it was never intended to be a fire station. I believe we started leasing it as a fire station in the 1960’s and then the district bought it in the 1970’s, so it has been part of the fire district for 50 years.”

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Ballard said the new $4 million Bonner Fire Station has been a long time coming.

“We have a little more than doubled the size of station going from the old station to the new station,” he said. “We just have more room for staffing and apparatus. Since we are running more calls than ever before, it's been super helpful to have this new space for us.”

A new and much larger fire station means more room for professional firefighters and EMT’s.

“Truly one of the biggest things is that we actually have room for our resident program,” he said. “Where we could only accommodate three residents in the past, at the new station will be able to accommodate six residents and that we have an A B and C shift and so we can have two residents per shift. That increases our staffing especially at night because we have a guaranteed two person career staff response per 24 hours with advanced life support included, and then we have residents on at night as a general rule.”

Ballard said many of their calls are in response to motor vehicle accidents on I-90 and Highway 200.

“At this station in particular, we do tend to run a lot of motor vehicle accidents and a lot of really more critical high speed accidents as well,” he said. “You get accidents up Highway 200 and then the Interstate is certainly one of those areas. As traffic increases over the summertime with people coming in and out, we really do tend to run more accidents here. We all specialize in that as fire districts, but here at this station, I think we get a lot of experience in those kinds of calls.”

The new Station 4 is located in the Bonner Industrial Park at 8511 Bonner Mill Road in what used to be considered the West Log Yard when Stimson Lumber was in operation.

The open house is Saturday from noon to 3:00 p.m. and the public is invited to attend.

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