A collaborative project almost 10 years in the making came to fruition Friday morning as more than 150 citizens, politicians, and emergency service workers came together to celebrate the opening of a brand new station for the North Fork Volunteer Fire Department (NFVFD).
At a cost of just over $1 million, the new Madera County Fire Station #11 — also known as the North Fork Volunteer Fire Station — brought together a multitude of groups and political figures around a single goal: get the foothill-based firefighters the station they deserve to increase safety, response times, and overall effectiveness.
“This station is beautiful,” said Diann Miller, the station’s fire captain who has been with the department for more than 25 years. “It’s bigger, has better equipment; we can actually perform vehicle maintenance here; we have room to do fire safety training on site. It’s just better in every way.”
The new facility is at 33400 Douglas Ranger Station Road, next to a large lumber mill that closed down in 1994, and it brings a host of improvements — such as a hose rack, equipment, office space, cabinets for storage, and three full-sized bay doors for vehicles — to a department that was stuck in what many described as a dilapidated, moldy facility under the North Fork library that flooded nearly every year...