The Frankford Volunteer Fire Company is in the last stretch of its $3.3 million renovation and construction project.
The project included two new engine bays, a kitchen, a fitness room, bunk rooms, office space, an enlarged meeting room and a banquet hall.
“For years, we need to add space for apparatus,” said Frankford Volunteer Fire Company Vice President and Building Chairman Robbie Murray. “And we realized we also had a need for administrative space and a banquet hall. We would have to pull out the trucks to be able to have any type of fundraiser or event, and the added space will be easier on the volunteers.”
Construction started last fall, and their goal is to have it complete by the end of July — specifically then because they are moving ahead with booking their new space for events.
“I hope it’s the end of July,” said Murray. “It was Memorial Day, and then the Fourth of July and now the end of July. I hope it’s then, because we already have a wedding booked for August!”
The original Frankford fire hall was built in 1936 and underwent a renovation during the 1970s. What was built in that renovation was demolished to in order to make room for this one, but the part of the building that dates to circa 1936 remains. That will be renovated and will contain their antique vehicles, utility vehicles, the bunk room and a day room for volunteers.
The Frankford Volunteer Fire Company has 50 active members, five associate members, five junior members and about 25 ladies’ auxiliary members. They employ three full-time career EMTs. They have two ambulances, four engines (two engines and one engine/tanker and one engine/rescue for multipurpose use). They also have two brush trucks and two utility pieces. They also had a command vehicle “until one of the recent nor’easters found it,” Murray noted. Because of that damage, Murray said, they aim to replace that vehicle with a Suburban.
The FVFC received much of their funding for their renovation from Sussex County and the State of Delaware, plus they used some savings and took out a loan to finance a portion of the renovations — something they will aim to raise money to repay with fundraisers, as soon as they get in their new building.
The most exciting part of the project for Murray is the added engine bays.
“It used to be we had three vehicles to get out of two doors, and you would have to maneuver around. And now there will be plenty of room,” he said.
Murray added that the newly renovated fire station with added space will benefit everyone in town.
“It’s not only great for us; it’s great for the community. Now, when we have elections or if we want to have a neighborhood watch meeting, we have a meeting place.”
Murray, an Indian River High School graduate, has been with the fire company since 1988, when he joined while still a sophomore in high school. He noted that the fire company is always trying to recruit new volunteers. For more information visit the Web site at www.frankfordfire.com.