Fire Station 58 to officially open September 5

Commentary by Gary Meyer

After more than 40 years, a promise originally made by Kern County for the sake of expediency will finally become a reality in Pine Mountain.
The grand opening of Kern County Fire Station 58 will begin at 10 a.m., Friday, Sept. 5 at 2410 Symonds Drive.

The opening will include an inaugural flag raising by the Kern County Fire Department Honor Guard with dedications by Fire Chief Brian Marshall and 4th District Supervisor David Couch.

The fire department’s written announcement says in two sentences what could fill the pages of a very long novel: “Station #58 is the first and currently the only paramedic station in the Kern County Fire Department. The station houses Engine 58 and Patrol 58 and can accommodate up to nine firefighters in a safe and healthy work environment.”

The journey leading to these two accomplishments took a community through the twists and turns of privatized emergency medical services, political deception and finally to the true voice of the citizens, as they voted overwhelmingly in favor of paying $70 per year on each parcel to have their fire department provide emergency paramedic services, which usually arrive in a few minutes rather than 25 minutes—or sometimes an hour.

During 2006, in the midst of the long battle to bring firefighter paramedics to Pine Mountain, the announcement was made that the fire station’s living quarters and business office had been condemned after toxic black mold was discovered throughout the structure.

A private residence across the street had to be leased for the firefighters. It has served as their base of operations for the last eight years.

The list of community members who struggled for so many years to bring firefighter paramedics to the community and to get the fire station built is too long to fit within this story. There are hundreds. And there are dozens who tirelessly led them—some still living, some who have passed away.

When you visit the new facility and take the tour, ask some of the other visitors how the new facility rose from the toxic dust of what was once an abandoned real estate shack from the 1970s.

The public is cordially invited to the Grand Opening of the Pine Mountain Fire Station
• 10 a.m.
• Friday, Sept. 5
• 2410 Symonds Drive, Pine Mountain, 93222

Photo caption:

Left, The tiny structure on the left is not a dog house—it is where Kern County firefighters were required to work and sleep for over 30 years until it was condemned in 2006 by the health department; Middle, an artist’s conceptual drawing of the fire station-to-be; Right, the nearly-completed, new Station 58 that will officially open September 5 at 10 a.m.

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This is part of the August 29, 2014 online edition of The Mountain Enterprise.

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