The header photo displays the generations at the Oskaloosa Fire Station where the youngest and oldest firefighter ‘cut the ribbon’ at the conclusion of the ceremony.
The last dedication of the Oskaloosa Fire Station occurred in 1909, Mayor Lewis Bacon led the ceremony over a hundred years ago.
Historical pieces can be found throughout the new fire house.
Our hometown fire station holds the title of second oldest standing fire station west of the Mississippi; the first going to a fire house in Davenport that was commissioned around the year 1904. The Okaloosa Fire station is unique in another way as well, it is the only one in Mahaska County that is staffed 24/7.
In November 2014, it was voted and approved to reconstruct and renovate the existing fire station. Upon completion, there are four bays to house trucks and emergency vehicles.
“North bay is longer than the others […] it’s longer to accommodate an aerial truck, with the aging buildings downtown, I believe it’s only a matter of time before we may see the need to use it,“ said Mayor David Krutzfeldt.
By maintaining the integrity of the original and historic buildings within Oskaloosa while upgrading them to modern standards, it allows for the longevity of the structure.
Lockers of the currently employed firefighters at the station.
Mayor Krutzfeldt said, “It [the fire station] along with the others [recently renovated buildings] stands as a testimony of how people working together for a common purpose can create the great things that will last far longer than we will. “
Fire Chief Mark Neff was full of emotion during his ceremony speech. After sixteen months of construction, it was only three weeks ago that all the firehouse equipment was all under one roof. Two-thirds of the equipment was located inside the old water department building.
Chief Neff graciously thanked: citizens of Oskaloosa; the mayor and council; Will Downing, Architect; DDVI, Inc; Oskaloosa Herald; Jennifer Main, Edward Jones; Musco Lighting; Oskaloosa Glass and Millwork; New Sharon Fire Department; and finally the staff at the Oskaloosa Fire Department.
“Fire house is a symbol of our community. This is your firehouse, we are just the key holders,” stated Fire Chief Mark Neff.