Station 81 in Boardman Celebrates Opening with Ribbon Cutting

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Boardman Fire Rescue District Director Ken Browne, left center, and Fire Chief Mike Hughes cut the ribbon on Monday, July 3, celebrating the opening of Station 81 at 911 Tatone St. (Photo by Beau Glynn/Hermiston Herald)

As the community of Boardman grows, its fire department must grow in stride.

The Boardman Fire Rescue District held a ribbon-cutting ceremony Monday, July 3, to celebrate the opening of Fire Station 81, the department’s new home.

The new structure at 911 Tatone St. boasts six dorms, each with its own restroom, a new apparatus bay, a large kitchen and a sizable living space.

The need for a new fire station was borne from a growing community. Fire Chief Mike Hughes said in the time he came to the department, the call line had more than tripled, requiring Boardman Fire Rescue to switch from a volunteer department to 24-hour shifts.

“Our previous facility was built for volunteers,” he said.

District Lt. Sam Irons said the previous station’s living quarters were detached from the station itself.

“Our living quarters were in a trailer out behind the station,” he said. “You’d have to go out in the weather to get into the station, which would slow down our response times.”

Construction for Station 81 started in May 2022, according to Hughes, after voters in the 2020 election season approved a bond for the station.

Hughes said the new station was built for efficiency, with the living quarters down the hall from the apparatus bay. He mentioned the speed at which the bay doors opened, maximizing the department’s response times.

“Our whole thing is to beat national standards,” he said. “We’re out the door and on the scene trying to provide the best service possible.”

Boardman Fire Rescue District Director Ken Browne said another benefit of the new station was its location.

“Here, we’re kind of away from the school. In the mornings when kids were getting dropped off, it got really busy and was tough to get in and out of the station due to the traffic,” he said. “This is going to make it so we can get out of the station faster and respond quicker.”

With the new station, Hughes said Boardman Fire Rescue hopes to one day staff an engine company and ambulance crew at Station 81. He added that an extra dorm was available for a possible intern or someone wanting to take part in a ride-along.

“As Boardman continues to grow, this station is built to grow with it,” Hughes said. “We can’t thank the community enough for making this possible.”

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