Artesia fire department waiting for garage expansion

DINOSAUR -- The Artesia Fire Protection District's fire truck is 35 feet long. Its garage in Dinosaur was built for a 30-foot truck.

"It's kind of a job parking in there," fire Chief Bob Ormsbee said.

Ormsbee is the only person in the 12-person department who can park the truck in the angle necessary to fit it in the garage.

The Delta Fire Department donated the truck to the department last year.

Even though it wouldn't fit in Artesia's garage without Ormsbee's strategic parking, the department accepted the truck, knowing a donated truck doesn't come around very often.

"It was nice to have them donate it," Ormsbee said.

Ormsbee's parking skills may be needed only for a few more months because the department hopes to have an extension on its garage soon.

Grants from the Colorado Department of Local Affairs and the U.S. Department of Agriculture totaling $150,000 will pay for the project.

The department received the grant about a year ago, said Leona Hemmerich, the department's administrative assistant.

But construction hasn't begun in part because the department couldn't find a local contractor to build it.

"I had hoped it would be done by now," Hemmerich said.

The pre-fabricated metal building, which will make up the extension, should take about two months to build, Hemmerich said.

Hemmerich said she hopes to have the extension complete by June.

Artesia relies on grants and donations to keep the department running.

The Durango Fire Dep--artment recently donated a compressor to the department. The U.S. Forest Service and Moffat County Sheriff's Office have donated equipment in the past, as well, Ormsbee said.

Artesia is responsible for 48,000 acres in western Moffat County.

Brandon Johansson can be reached at 824-7031, ext. 213, or bjohansson@craigdailypress.com.

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