“As much as I would love to see a fire museum on that site or the history of the city preserved, the fire department will need that land to expand station 421…” – Captain Q
I worked for the Twentynine Palms Fire Department for 8 years and loved it. The history of the fire department has always been important to the members as shown by the antique fire apparatus displayed in front of both stations. They are also still working on trying to restore the original fire engine. It would be great to revitalize the original fire station, but it is another project that I just don’t think the fire department could take on. The fire department is already doing so much with so little.
They are running almost 2,500 calls a year for service and cover 88 square miles with two stations. They are constantly training the Volunteer and Reserve Firefighters that the department has come to rely on for your fire protection. After these Reserve Firefighters spend a few months to a few years with the department, they move on to paying firefighter positions elsewhere. New freshly graduated fire academy students are constantly testing to take their place on almost a monthly basis.
Nonetheless, the original fire station would be very difficult to refurbish. It has been “condemned” for the last several years and for many before that the fire department members used it for training. Walls were breached for search and rescue training and doors were forced for search training. With no training facility this was the best place to train these new firefighters on a constant basis.
As much as I would love to see a fire museum on that site or the history of the city preserved, the fire department will need that land to expand station 421 to keep up with the growing need for fire services and to be updated to current standards. The station is still using a common bunkroom for the firefighters to sleep and the bathrooms need to be expanded with multiple showers. As the number of emergency calls increases the downtown station will need two staffed apparatus somewhere down the road.
The motto of the Twentynine Palms Fire Department is Proud Traditions, Pioneering the Future. As much as we value our traditions, we must continue to look towards the future.
The “Deuce Nine” Fire Department will always have a special place in my heart and I know they are in for some rough times. I hope the Water District, the City and the citizens can find a way to move it into the future.