Jul. 17—The Harrison Hills Volunteer Fire Company should see improved response times, if only slightly, thanks to a new floor at its garage on Freeport Road.
Installation of a concrete floor began last week because the old one was crumbling under the weight of the engines, Chief Jim Bartolovich said.
"Our newest engine weighs more than the ones we had before, and over time, we started noticing pieces of concrete missing out of the floor," he said.
"Engineers looked at it and suggested we not park in there."
A new floor and necessary reinforcements for the 40-by-90-foot space cost about $725,000.
"It's gonna be much better for the whole department because we'll actually be able to park the engine upstairs, not in the basement," Bartolovich said.
"It will affect the response time slightly since we won't have to go downstairs."
Fire officials had considered having the floor repaired several years ago, but covid "put a damper on that" because of rising costs and supply chain issues, he said.
Earlier this year, the department got the solution it needed through three grants, one of which was secured with help from Democratic state Sen. Lindsey Williams.
She helped secure $500,000 through the Department of Community and Economic Development. Another $175,000 came through the same agency, and $100,000 was awarded through Allegheny County.
"State and federal investments in local projects that impact the day-to-day lives of residents are so important to me," Williams said.
The senator has an office in Heights Plaza, not far from the fire department.
Fire officials sought her help to "keep their doors open and continue serving Harrison and surrounding communities," she said.
"I was grateful to be able to help because I see investments like this as tax dollars being invested back into public goods that keep our communities safe."
The Harrison Hills Volunteer Fire Company was founded in 1973 and maintains about 20 active members. They respond to about 200 fire and heavy rescue calls a year.
Work on the garage is expected to be completed this week. The cost includes reinforced steel bridge decking and thicker concrete.
(c)2023 The Tribune-Review (Greensburg, Pa.)
Visit The Tribune-Review (Greensburg, Pa.) at www.triblive.com
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.