CHUBBUCK, Idaho (KIFI/KIDK) - It’s been less than a year since a levy was passed to fund the first-ever fire department for the North Bannock Fire District.
On Saturday, North Bannock County Fire hosted an open house to welcome the community into their new home and thank them for more than $300 thousand in donations from the turnouts they wear to the equipment that they use.
"There’s no way that we’d be where we are today," Fire Chief JR Farnsworth said of the importance of the donations.
Farnsworth is grateful that the community has put him and his department in a position to succeed. His plan had always been to create a fire department for the fire district but the donations have made a major difference in terms of the level of service they’ve been able to provide.
"I think it’s really important for the volunteers," he said. "When the public supports them like that, it makes them want to volunteer and be part of it. So, it goes both ways. You know, you support us, they’re more than willing to get into that gear and respond to your emergencies."
With 41 volunteers covering 86 square miles, Farnsworth says their new station off East Chubbuck Road is a great spot for their long-term home.
The department had originally planned to lease bays out of a new building in the Tyhee area, but a deadly collapse in August changed that.
"Even then, my volunteers stepped up. They raised over $4,000 at the spaghetti feed dinner on our first day as a fire department and was able to donate that," he said. Afterwards, they even gained another $9,000 to donate to the Galos, even after the dinners.”
Farnsworth and company began answering the calls on Oct. 1, responding to 16 since then.
"Again, I just can’t thank the public enough -- the taxpayers and all the people that have donated -- Just thank you," he said.