Fire safety increased in Orangefield
For the Record
Local citizens and community leaders joined Bridge City Volunteer Firefighters and other First Responders Saturday, Jan. 12, for the “hosing” of the new Orangefield Fire Station. Located on Highway 105, this half a million dollar facility was six years in the making.
Orange County Emergency Service District 2 workers were on hand to help celebrate the implementation of Orange County’s newest defense against disasters.
In lieu of a ribbon cutting ceremony, the firefighters and Chamber of Commerce leaders dedicated the facility with an official hosing; the ceremonial uncoupling of two fire hoses. “Anybody can cut a ribbon,” said Chuck Uzzle, Bridge City Fire & Rescue Chief.
The new 6,000 square foot fire station is a substation of the OCES District 2 Fire & Rescue Central Station in Bridge City. Replacing the older, much smaller substation, the new facility houses a pumper truck for structure fires as well as a Hummer equipped to fight brush fires. The special trailer that is used to teach children fire safety will be permanently housed there also.
For now the primary firefighting vehicles will remain at the Bridge City Central Station where dispatchers are stationed 24 hours a day, seven days a week with a team of forty-three volunteers ready to serve the people of Bridge City and Orangefield.
Chief Uzzle is excited about the new facility which has been built with growth in mind. With three offices, two storage rooms, restrooms with showers, a spacious community room and kitchen area, the station is prepared to one day house its own crew or possibly serve as a shelter in the event of a natural disaster. Chief Uzzle hopes to use space behind the station to host firefighting and rescue training events. The large community room can be reserved by individuals or groups for meetings, parties or other events by calling Central Station in Bridge City.
As Orangefield began to experience growth, it became obvious that the small fire station was no longer adequate for the needs of the community. That prompted plans to be initiated, six years ago, for the new station.
Working as a liaison with contractors throughout construction, previous fire chief Scott Barnes saw the project through to completion with the assistance of Carroll LeBlanc, president of OCES District 2.
With the experience of a fifteen-year volunteer fireman, Uzzle spoke confidently, “The department has been here for fifty-four years and has seen a lot of improvement over those years. Our goal is to always strive for improvement and to continue a tradition of excellence. We want to be good stewards of the tax dollars and provide the best service we can for the taxpayers.”