New Seymour fire station dedicated

One night this past summer, Brad Lucas’ wife was hosting a girls party, so he decided to get out of the house for a while.

He went to a place he had visited every day — sometimes more than once a day — since Nov. 9, 2021.

The Seymour Fire Department chief went inside the building being constructed at 1019 W. Second St. to house Station 2 and headquarters.

He said the building was about 85% done at that point, and he was the only person there.

“I thought, ‘Wow! Man, this is real,’” Lucas said. “I had seen it every day from the ground up. I finally just had a chance to look around. I’m like, ‘What have we done here? This is just beautiful, and I just can’t wait to get in it.’”

During a ceremony Wednesday on the exact date and time a year after the groundbreaking, the new building was dedicated. The next day, the firefighters were expected to begin working there.

“What do you think so far?” Lucas asked the large crowd gathered inside the firetruck bays at the start of the dedication ceremony, drawing a round of applause. “Pretty awesome, I think. My gosh. It’s amazing.”

Also speaking were Seymour Mayor Matt Nicholson and Dustin Frye, owner and director of construction for BW Construction of Indianapolis, which was the general contractor.

They both credited Lucas for making his longtime dream of a new fire station and headquarters a reality.

“Brad is the key here to what we’ve done here,” Nicholson said, noting a lot of meetings and discussions took place well before the groundbreaking a year ago to see if the project was a possibility.

“As we’re doing all of this, we’re also trying to make sure that we’re building a building that’s going to be here for another 40 years,” Nicholson said, as Lucas has been with SFD for nearly 40 years. “Brad has got to make sure it’s set up for the next person. This building was built with expansion in mind over the future. He was the key that was keeping the glue together making sure everything was going good.”

Frye said Lucas, Nicholson, the Seymour City Council and the firefighters all had a vital role in bringing the facility to life.

Despite supply chain and pricing challenges along the way, Frye said the focus was on creating a building that was within the city’s budget. The building cost $5.75 million.

“To deliver a project of this magnitude in 12 months exactly … it comes down to some decision-making, and the chief was here a lot. It was like we had another teammate right next to us when we needed a decision made. It was instant,” Frye said.

“That’s not normal in projects to have a client that’s so actively involved, and the passion and care that he has provided to this station for this city, I just think we should give a round of applause for chief and his involvement and what he has done,” he said.

Frye also thanked Seymour residents, RQAW Corp. for helping design the building with input from SFD personnel and the many subcontractors who were part of the project.

“It takes an army,” he said. “We don’t take that for granted, we appreciate it, it was important to us and it will be a showcase for many years to come. It’s a beautiful station.”

Lucas also had many thanks to go around.

That included the current and previous city councils and mayors for listening to his project proposal, making suggestions and being behind it 100%. He also thanked other city officials, the contractors and his firefighters for their work and his wife, Cindi, for her support.

Lucas said firefighters helped with anything he asked, including moving items into the new building, watering the sod outside and polishing the 1885 steam engine that’s on display in the headquarters side of the building.

Headquarters includes the administrative assistant’s area, the chief’s office, a room that will be the assistant chief’s office once that position is added, a break room with a kitchen, an inspectors room, a conference room and a training room.

During a luncheon earlier Wednesday, the training room was dedicated to former SFD Firefighter Joshua Trueblood, who died in 2019 after a four-year battle with brain cancer. He was 46 and had served the department for 19 years.

The crew quarters on the east side of the building includes four pods featuring two individual rooms with a restroom in the middle, a kitchen with three pantries, a laundry room, a large workout room, a gear room, a day room, a large workroom and a small quiet room.

Lucas highlighted the large kitchen table that was made by Capt. Chris Connell. He used wood from the old bleachers in the Brownstown Central High School gymnasium to make the table. It features an SFD logo made by Celery Signs of Medora in the middle, and the legs of the table are fire hydrants.

Connell, a 19-year veteran of the department, said after he learned a new fire station was going to be built, he told Lucas he would like to build a kitchen table. He likes how it turned out, and he’s excited to work in the new station.

During his career, he has worked at all three of the city’s stations.

“This is an extremely nice building,” Connell said. “I never thought we would ever see anything close to this big in the city of Seymour. We’re very fortunate for the size of Seymour to have this kind of equipment. It’s impressive what the city has done to let us do our jobs.”

Station 2 will have six firefighters per shift, while there will be four per shift at each of the other two stations. Station 2 formerly was at 500 W. Fifth St., and Lucas said the city is looking into refurbishing it. Headquarters was at 318 East St., and Station 1 will remain there but will be remodeled, Lucas said. The city’s third fire station is at 605 Meadowbrook Drive.

Wednesday’s dedication ceremony concluded with Redeemer Lutheran Church Pastor Andrew Currao blessing the new station and firefighters, and then a special ribbon-cutting ceremony was conducted. Instead of a ribbon, though, Lucas used the Jaws of Life to cut a firehose.

Attendees were then invited to tour the new building, and the public open house followed.