By Janet Stoica
Saturday, October 19 was picture perfect for the dedication of the newly-expanded, ADA-compliant Dudley Fire Station. Emcee Doc Siddall, afternoon radio host of Lake 940, led the program, and an enthusiastic crowd of approximately 100 well-wishers enjoyed refreshments, the beautiful sunny morning with temps in the 50s –while touring the new fire station’s addition and renovations.
Fire Chief Dean Kochanowski led the roster of speakers with project history: The Dudley Board of Selectmen had asked him to do a feasibility study for a new fire station in 2013; the first location choice was behind the Dudley Municipal Center along with construction costs of $9.5 jmillion. Dudley voters struck down the project. After reconsideration, along with a new study, the new plan was offered to the townspeople for renovation and expansion of the existing station on West Main Street with a price tag of $6.75 million—which also included soil remediation. These environmental costs were due to leaks from gas tanks and pumps formerly located at the West Main site, which had leeched into the surrounding soil.
“This new addition and renovation will take us through the next 60-75 years,” said Fire Chief Kochanowski, “the former station encompassed 5,995 square feet, and the new addition added over 9,000 square feet. We added eight new bays and three are drive-through. Other new areas include new lockers for our male and female personnel, individual bunk rooms, and a new weight room which are all ADA-compliant. We also have a new air compressor for filling fire personnel air tanks and a gear extractor washer and dryer.”(Extractors are used to wash, lift, and remove carcinogens on turnout gear without damaging the protective materials.)
Town Administrator Jonathan Ruda stated, “When the original station was built in 1960, who would’ve imagined what our needs would be in 2019. When we first began to look at a new station, people were against the location, design, and cost. On our second try, we communicated through social media. It was the first time in town history that this form of communication was done. We held fire station open houses, gave tours, and listened to our community. Social media was the catalyst for the success of this project.” Mr. Ruda read a citation from Governor Charles Baker, then presenting the document to fire department members.
Board of Selectmen Chairman, Steve Sullivan commented, “the Board couldn’t be more proud of the residents of Dudley to move this project forward. We should be proud of our town hall, library, and other facilities which shows the town of Dudley moving forward.”
State Senator Ryan Fattman thanked the men and women of the fire department stating, “This building represents the job you do. We are thankful for you and how you are willing to put everything down to protect members of our community.”
Peter Durant, State Representative spoke about his association with Fire Chief Kochanowski and how they often discussed the fire department’s building needs. “This is what happens when a town unites to put a project like this together,” he said.
Dudley has six full-time fire department personnel on duty from 6 am – 6 pm with two paramedics present for ambulance calls. From 6 pm – 6 am, paramedics are on staff along with 6 – 30 call firefighters.
Dudley Fire Department, 128 West Main Street, Dudley MA 01571.
Phone: (508) 949-8040;
Fire alarm dispatch: (508) 943-4411;
Contact Janet at [email protected]