By Chris Bavender
A new full-service fire station will be built in McCordsville after Vernon Township secured more than $7.1 million in bonds. The process to build a new station began two years ago.
“Vernon Township Fire Department was formed in 2019, and the Vernon Township Fire Territory was formed the following year as a cooperative effort of Vernon Township, the Town of McCordsville and the Town of Fortville,” Vernon Township Trustee Florence May said. “These efforts were to address the need for a 24/7 fire station in McCordsville, the need for full-time, on-station firefighters and paramedics and the need to replace 18-, 30-year-old apparatuses as identified by a joint task force.”
The station will be at 600 West and will be surrounded by senior living communities. The location is north of railroad tracks that divide McCordsville and Fortville.
“We have regularly experienced 2-mile-long trains stopped and blocking multiple cross points. The existing Fortville station is south of the tracks,” May said. “The record growth has been substantial for more than a decade. With the additions of Town Center and 450 homes on State Road 234 expanding the list, we can’t wait any longer to build the McCordsville station.”
Since 2019, Vernon Township has had only one fire station that operates around the clock. It was in Fortville, consisting of part-time and paid-per-run firefighters. Operations were limited to volunteer fire protection and emergency medical services in Fortville, McCordsville and the unincorporated portion of Vernon Township.
“We are on pace to reach 1,500-plus runs in 2021, so the need for the second station is growing,” May said.
May said McCordsville is receiving full-time firefighters and paramedics from the Fortville station.
“And by Jan. 1, 2022, Vernon Township Fire Dept. will have full time firefighter/EMTs living in modular housing at the volunteer station until the new station is ready to open,” she said. “All VTFD firefighters are required to be EMTs. We will have a combination of career and part-time firefighters.”
Construction is expected to begin in June 2022 and take eight months but May said planners hope to speed up the design phase by using existing firehouse design.
“The construction time is dependent on permitting, weather, availability of building materials and availability of workforce,” May said. “There are a lot of variables, and our priority is a quality build out. We do expect the station to be operational in 2023. The earlier, the better.”