Junction City Fire Department aims to build regional training facility

Junction City Fire Department officials aim to use land adjacent to Fire Station No. 2 to build a regional training center.

Junction City Fire Department officials are aiming to secure approval to accept a land donation that will allow for the construction of a training facility.

Fire Chief Terry Johnson presented a request to city commissioners during Tuesday night’s meeting. Land adjacent to Fire Station No. 2 — located at 2245 Lacy Drive — has been offered to the department as a donation from Bramlage Properties, LLC. The department would use the 2.8 acres of land to construct a regional training facility, Johnson said.

“This property will provide the space to continue the process of building the needed training props and skills stations for firefighting, apparatus operator, EMS responses, technical rescue disciplines, hazardous materials and fire investigations,” Johnson said. “This property will give us additional space and some of the natural terrain will add to our training capabilities.”

Commissioner Tim Brown asked if plans would include installing a training tower on the property. Johnson said that could be an option, as the closest training tower for firefighters to practice on is in Manhattan.

“So, for us to do any aerial apparatus training, we have to take our ladder truck, go to Manhattan, do the training and come back,” Johnson said. “We are looking at using shipping containers to build a training building we can practice on.”

Mayor Pat Landes asked if the training facility’s close proximity to Interstate 70 would be an issue. Johnson said it would not be, as other regional training facilities in Kansas are also located near interstate highways.

“El Dorado, Butler County (and) Wichita are all right on the interstate,” Johnson said.

There are two billboards located on the property, however, and City Manager Allen Dinkel said those might make the land taxable. Commissioners did not take any action on the request in order to allow staff time to check on how that might affect any agreement.

“I think we’re all in agreement that it’s a great idea, and appreciate the donation from the Bramlage family,” Landes said. “We just don’t want to create a problem for the Bramlage family or ourselves.”

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