The grand opening of Nikiski’s third fire station was heralded Friday with a community ribbon-cutting event that included a helicopter takeoff, a demonstration of the firefighter’s pole, a barbecue and an open house. The station officially opened earlier this year, but has been in the works for years.
Nikiski Fire Department Senior EMS Captain Harrison Deveer said Friday that Station 3 is currently staffed based on the availability of trained personnel, but that they hope to be fully staffed 24/7 soon.
Deveer said that plans for a third station in Nikiski began more than 20 years ago, but that the original plans were modified about four years ago to bring the building up to current codes.
In addition to fire personnel, members of the community and the Nikiski Fire Service Area Board, keynote speakers included local and state elected officials.
Acting Fire Chief for Nikiski Fire Service Area Trent Burnett offered opening remarks and emphasized how important the new station will be to Nikiski.
“What an amazing resource to have in our community,” Burnett said. “We’re so thankful to so many people who have been present throughout this process, and helped make this day a reality.”
State Sen. Peter Micciche, R-Soldotna, emphasized the impact the new station will have on lowering insurance rates and said the project would not have been possible without the Nikiski Fire Service Area Board and Nikiski’s tax base.
“Reducing insurance rates means … they can get to your house to save your life quicker,” Micciche said. “They can get to your house to protect your property quicker. That means it costs less for them.”
Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly member Jesse Bjorkman, who represents Nikiski, called the new station an investment in the community and encouraged attendees to continue to share their priorities at public meetings.
“It really is an asset to our community that we all can be proud of, and invest in the safety of our community together,” Bjorkman said.
Reach reporter Ashlyn O’Hara at firstname.lastname@example.org.