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A new era has begun for the Edwardsville Fire Department with the official opening of the East Fire Station at 7407 Governors’ Parkway. The new station became operational in February 2024, nearly 150 years to the day after the first fire company was organized in Edwardsville.
“This is an exciting development for our residents, our City and our Fire Department,” Mayor Art Risavy said. “The department has a long tradition of unwavering dedication to protecting and serving our residents. I appreciate the hard work by our Fire Department and the support of our City officials and staff to make the new station a reality.”
The East Fire Station includes 8,400 square feet of space, environmentally smart features such as solar panels; radiant floor heating to efficiently warm the bays and to dry wet equipment; and bi-fold bay doors that open and close in about a third of the time to speed emergency egress and limit heat loss.
“This state-of-the-art fire station was built with efficiency and lasting functionality as the goal. It will only increase our ability to serve our residents, businesses and the surrounding areas as quickly and effectively as possible,” Fire Chief James Whiteford said.
The East Fire Station occupies two acres of land near the City’s Interstate 55 corridor, an area that has seen tremendous residential and commercial growth. The location was identified as part of a 2015 service area study that considered response times, projected population growth and density, and expected future development. For years, the City has been shifting rapidly from its former north-south orientation to east-west growth, Whiteford said, and the City’s three stations will be strategically positioned to efficiently serve that area.
The City’s other two stations include the Public Safety Building at 333 S. Main Street, which opened in 2017 and serves as the police and fire headquarters; and the Campus Fire Station, 783 Northwest University Drive, which opened in 2016 at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. Construction began on the $5.1 million East Fire Station in November 2022. It was built by Morrissey Construction.
The East Station is replacing the former Station 2 on Montclaire Avenue. Station 2 is a smaller facility lacking the infrastructure to accommodate the high-tech emergency response capabilities that have evolved since 1969, when that station was built. There is no longer any emergency staffing at the Montclaire facility and Whiteford said anyone in need of emergency services should call 911 rather than go to the fire station.
The Edwardsville Fire Department was formed as Fire Company No. 1 on February 7, 1874, by Mayor William H. Krome and the City Council in response to a disastrous fire in November of 1873. The fire company fought its first fire on September 12 that same year at a house on Fillmore Street.