MEDFORD, Ore. – Medford firefighters are getting some hands-on training at their old fire station before the building is converted into a community center, thanks to the recent purchase by Youth 71Five Ministries.
For many of the firefighters, the old station at 1241 W. 8th Street is full of memories.
“There’s a lot of reminiscing, there’s a lot of memories in that station,” said Captain David Ackles with Medford Fire. “This was one of our busiest houses for a very long time. This is where guys came and got a lot of experience. It was a single-engine station that ran over 2000 calls a year.”
While it is bittersweet, the opportunity for firefighters to train is something they can’t pass up.
“Any practical application on a building that we would potentially have to do for real is invaluable,” says Ackles.
Once training is complete, Youth 71Five will be adding a second story to the building and doing a remodel. The new community center will be operated in collaboration with Spartan Boxing, Familia Unida, L.I.F.E. Art, and Westside Beautification — all local nonprofits aimed at building up the local community. The remodeled facility will serve kids and families in the surrounding neighborhoods.
“It’s really neat that the building is not being torn down,” said Ackles. “You’ll be able to drive by in 20 years and say ‘that was an old fire station.'”