Emergency ServicesInyo CountyNews

Southeast Inyo County to Get New Fire Stations

Screen Shot 2023 05 18 at 4.44.39 PM


Southeast Inyo County to Get New Fire Stations 

Public safety just got a major boost in some of Inyo County’s most remote communities.

The County recently received news that it will be receiving $1.5 million to build at least two new fire stations  for the Southern Inyo Fire Protection District (SIFPD) in Tecopa Hot Springs and Charleston View. SIFPD  serves a 1,200 square-mile area of sparsely populated but heavily visited desert at the edge of Death Valley  National Park and has never had a formal station from which to operate.

The funding for the project was requested by Inyo County as a Community Project Funding appropriation and  eventually included in the FY24 Agriculture and Rural Development bill, signed into law by President Biden  on March 9. Inyo’s request was supported, sponsored, and forwarded to the Appropriations Committee by  Rep. Kevin Kiley (R-CA) and Sen. Alex Padilla (D-CA). Rep. Kiley and Sens. Padilla and Laphonza Butler  (D-CA) all supported final passage of the appropriations bill.

“I am proud to have secured federal funding to support the construction of two fire stations that will be essential  for emergency response in Inyo County and the broader region,” said Senator Padilla. “This is an investment  that will save lives. I look forward to continuing to work to bring additional resources to improve public safety  and the quality of life across Inyo County.”

District 5 Supervisor and Board Chair Matt Kingsley expressed his gratitude for the help in securing the much needed funding.

“We cannot thank our federal representatives – including the late Dianne Feinstein – enough for their support of  this funding request and their help in getting it approved,” Chairperson Kingsley said. “The SIFPD provides  critical life-saving services over a large, remote area and can use all the help it can get to improve and fortify its  response capabilities. It is heartening to see our Congressman and Senators recognize the district’s vital role in  providing for public safety and the need to give them the resources they need to do so.”

The appropriation will fund the construction of two separate fire stations that would house fire and emergency  response apparatus, provide office space for staff, and serve as a space to convene meetings for the purposes of  emergency operations planning and response efforts.

The funding includes the monies necessary for site preparation, extension of utilities, and construction of a new  structure in the communities of Tecopa Hot Springs and Charleston View, which are located approximately 30  miles apart from one another. There are currently no structures in either location to house fire fighting apparatus,  leaving them susceptible to impacts from the elements, vandalism, and burglary. While both of these  communities are sparsely populated, several thousand visitors pass through them each year. It is impossible for the volunteers to provide an adequate level of response or service without proper equipment, or the space to  maintain it.

“We are very excited and extremely thankful for the opportunity to see this project through to its  completion. This will allow us to fully serve our communities and drastically reduce our response times to fall  within NFPA (National Fire Protection Association) standards for the majority of our 911 calls,” said SIFPD  Chief Phil Worsman. “This opportunity also allows us to provide much needed housing for our response  vehicles, keeping them out of the harsh elements and allowing us to cut cost on maintenance fees that affect our  budget.”

He continued, “This will also allow us to provide a classroom environment for fire and EMS training as well as  a much-needed area to hold community meetings – all of which are an important part of serving our community  properly. These are just a few, but important, benefits of this project. We are thankful to those who worked  tirelessly to see this grant through to fruition.”

It is not yet known when the County will receive the actual appropriation, which will come down in the form of  a USDA Grant. However, it is anticipated that it should be disbursed within the next 12 months. The grant  requires a 20% match from the County, which will be working collaboratively over the next year on the  conceptual design of the fire stations so that the project is as close to shovel-ready as possible once the funding  actually lands.

0 0 votes
News Article Rating
Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Related Articles

Back to top button

Adblock Detected

We make money by selling ads to out platform. Please show the advertisements so we can keep the website free to you. Support local news.