The McGregor Volunteer Fire Department has outgrown its current fire station, and the city has found a new architect to draw up plans for the new firehouse.

Lucachick Architecture, located in Bemidji, has underbid competitors by a considerable amount; the firm is offering its services for nearly half the asking price of the next most competitive bidder.

“Right now, if you’d like a tanker, you’d have to pull out another truck to get to it,” said McGregor Mayor Dake Olson. “And our rescue vehicle for getting to snowmobile and ATV crashes is in a whole other building a couple of miles away from the fire station.”

The goal is to have the rescue vehicles and gear in the same building, easily accessible, hooked up and ready to go. “This will cut a ton of time off response times, which is ultimately what saves people’s lives,” said Olson.  

The new firehouse will be 60 by 140 feet. It will sit on a 200-by-200-feet plot located across the street from the emu and behind the Dairy Queen on Maddy Street. The fire department currently has 75% of the funds and is hoping to open the new firehouse next year.

Last week it was also announced that the Tamarack Sno-Flyers Snowmobile Club made a donation of $1500 to the McGregor Ambulance Department.

“We will most likely use it to add another LUCAS device – an automated, easy-to-use CPR machine – to our emergency equipment,” explained Olson.

The department has been saving up for another LUCAS device, which costs $19,000. With support from other donors, the McGregor Ambulance Department is close to being able to purchase it.

The McGregor Ambulance Department covers 21 townships, in 625 square miles of the eastern part of Aitkin County. Having an additional LUCAS device is critical to serving the area.

The Sno-Flyers have been grooming trails since 1972. The club has charitable gambling locations and frequently makes donations to organizations in the McGregor area.

The next McGregor council meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, May 4, at 6 p.m. at the current firehouse.

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