Fire station planned for downtown Malta

Joint effort from Round Lake and Malta Ridge fire departments a response to growth

75-foot ladder truck at Round Lake Station

75-foot ladder truck at Round Lake Station Photo by Marci Revette.

— With a new addition to GlobalFoundries in the planning stages and the recent adoption of form-based code zoning for the downtown area, Malta is growing by leaps and bounds.

With that anticipated growth in mind, the fire companies of Round Lake and Malta Ridge, which serve the town of Malta, are rolling out plans for another fire station in the downtown area and are putting together and action plan to make that happen sooner rather than later.

The new station is still in the planning stages, but a letter of intent to purchase two acres in Parade Ground Village for the new station has been filed.

“We’re putting this on the fast track,” said Fred Sievers, president at the Round Lake Fire Department.

The two fire companies have one main station and one substation each, which effectively cover the town of Malta in the north for Malta Ridge and in the south for the Round Lake Fire Department. Both companies are volunteer-based and count about 60 members in their ranks, though Sievers said with the expansion paid labor might be in the future.

Sievers said both companies started talking about the need for a new fire station around three years ago when the explosion of growth in the downtown area began, particularly the five-story Ellsworth Commons complex. There is only one nearby fire truck with a 75-foot ladder needed to reach the upper floors of that building, and it’s located at the Round Lake station.

“It is tall enough to reach the fifth floor of that building, but it is a lot of work and not very safe for the firefighters,” Sievers said.

Malta Ridge has ordered a new, $1.2 million 100-foot ladder truck that is expected to arrive in early April. “

To plan and build the new station, a third company, The Fire Companies of Malta, was formed. It consists of three people from each fire company. The sole purpose for the company is to facilitate the purchase of the property in Parade Ground Village and ensure the building of the new fire station and its future maintenance.

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