SHARPSVILLE, Pa. (WKBN) – The South Pymatuning Volunteer Fire Department is upgrading its station to make it more accessible to people with disabilities.
Although the department was not required to upgrade its building, when firefighters found out the bathrooms needed some updating, they wanted to make them more ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) accessible.
“We just thought that it would be the right thing to do,” said Christopher Nagy, the fire department’s president. “It just became apparent that they were lacking in some areas and that we wanted to update them, not only for ourselves but for the community as well.”
But as they started the remodeling, they learned it was going to take much more than moving a few appliances, especially since they decided to upgrade more than just the bathrooms.
They’re now also replacing the carpeting, painting the rooms and removing the lips in between rooms to make them more smooth.
Firefighters said they just want to show the people of South Pymatuning the department is there for them.
“Our goal is to make the facility open and more useful to people from the outside,” said Amy Higgins, the fire department’s vice president.
But the department, volunteers and community donations are the only way the upgrade is happening. Besides the equipment, the cost of the project is about $42,000.
“The cost we occurred was a little more than we expected,” Nagy said. “The cost of getting the permits and working through that aspect, a little bit, getting the architectural drawings.”
Nagy says they’re looking to be done with the building by the beginning of September. This will allow the station to hold events and connect with the community.
“They’ll get to talk to us and realize, I’m not just a member here but I’m a mom and I work and I teach,” Higgins said.
To get back some of the money the department has used, they’ll be having their annual car show and fall festival on Sept. 28.
Along with the car show, they’ll have fire safety awareness, education on CPR and touch-a-truck for the kids.