The city of Windom celebrated its new approximately $3.75 million Emergency Services Facility with a Sept. 8 and 9 ribbon cutting and community open house. The facility at the corner of Fifth Avenue and 10th Street houses both fire and ambulance services.
“A lot of times fire and ambulance share responsibilities,” said Windom Fire Chief Dan Ortmann. “So in order for us to respond out of one place all at one time is a huge benefit.”
Windom Ambulance Director Tim Hacker agreed that having one location for emergency responders as opposed to three locations spread across the city has been a benefit. He added that because there are individuals that are both firefighters and EMTs, having one centralized location where everyone responds helps cut down response time.
“If fire needs more guys or if EMT needs more, we can pull some of those guys before we even get to the scene,” Hacker said.
According to Windom City Administrator Steve Nasby, the approximately 18,500-square-foot facility features five double deep, drive through fire bays and four ambulance bays. The facility also accommodates for fire and ambulance supply, ambulance storage, fire laundry, training rooms, offices and a kitchenette.
Nasby added that four sleeping rooms, lounge, kitchenette and restrooms located on the facility’s second floor allow first responders an area to stay when on-call.
He anticipates the bunk area to be particularly valuable during inclement weather events and for crew members that reside in rural Windom.
“The radius of where people can live and be on our crew is limited,” Nasby said. “There are people that live outside the radius that would like to be on our crew, so the sleeping room makes that possible.”
Ortmann said the ESF is also conveniently located next to the law enforcement center, which allows for a better collaboration and closer working relationship between all first responders.
Not all Windom residents agreed it was the best location.