01/19/11 — Calypso firefighters seek community help

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Calypso firefighters seek community help

By Steve Herring
Published in News on January 19, 2011 1:58 PM

CALYPSO -- During the Calypso Fire Department's recent Ladies Night Banquet, fire officials appealed to the community to help restore some of the items that had to be cut from the fire station's renovation project.

While many of those needs were met with pledges before the banquet ended, other needs totaling about $7,500 still remains, said Roger Davis, the department's treasurer.

Davis said that about $19,000 had to be taken out of the project after it came in over its $300,000 budget.

Many of the items that were needed cost around $250 and that has become the amount that people interested in donating are being asked to commit to, he said.

"We have had a really good response from the community in general and in particularly from retired firemen or their families," Davis said.

Donations can be used for purchasing items for the station or to complete some additional work, he said. For example, applying an epoxy coating to the floor was among the items that had to be cut, he said. Also, the department would like to paint the interior of the old fire truck bays.

Another "big-ticket" item is a generator.

Any money collected over what is needed to purchase items will still be used for those kind of needs, Davis said.

An open house will be held sometime after the work is completed during which a plaque with the names of donors will be unveiled, Davis added. The plan is also to include the dedications as well.

The departments has prices for the needed items. For more information or to purchase items, contact Davis at 738-4068 or Fire Chief Mike Lewis at 222-8404.

The recent snow and ice slowed work on the project although the new fire-engine red metal roof is in place and some work has been completed on the back of the station.

Lewis said he has been assured by officials with G&G Builders of Wendell, the company doing the work, that they will soon be back on track to complete the work by spring.

The building has been reduced to a skeleton -- only the metal frame, concrete and the basic kitchen cabinets will be left of the original structure, which was built in 1979.

The additions to the building include a bay for the department's basic life support vehicle and equipment, handicapped accessible restrooms and several offices and for the first time the fire chief will have an office. The meeting area will be enlarged, too.

One of the additions to the station is a day room for firefighters to gather to use.

The Calypso Fire Department was organized in 1952 and provides mutual aid to Mount Olive, Oak Wolfe, Faison and Smith Chapel fire departments.

The department has 39 members and 14 members on its basic life support team.

Lewis and Davis thanked the town of Calypso for allowing the department to store its trucks in a new building at the town's water plant until the project is completed.

The N.C. Department of Insurance provided $30,000 in fire grants. The USDA Rural Development awarded a $105,000 grant and the department will borrow another $105,000 from the USDA.

The town also budgeted an additional $10,000 for the project. Tri-County EMC gave $7,500 and the Southern Bank Foundation gave $3,000.