A lot has changed since Cathedral City Fire Captain, Robert Williams, committed fighting fires nearly 20 years ago. But one thing has stayed constant, protecting lives.
"We're in a station now that was built in 1976," said Williams.
He and other firefighters working at the station off Date Palm Drive say it's time for a change. The living quarters are dated and functionality isn't ideal. He says there's also no storage for some of their million dollar equipment.
As Captain Williams looks out from the back of the fire station, he can see where his new station will sit, just a few hundred feet away.
"The new fire station is going to allow us to keep up with the population growth," he said. "It'll house firefighters, administrative offices and allow for more storage."
Talks among Cathedral City officials and the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians have been going on for years. In a final trade, Cathedral City was offered 5.5 million dollars to build a new fire station on a new plot of land. In exchange, the tribe will get 13 acres of land for their own use to build an entertainment complex, possibly including a casino.
Captain Williams tells KMIR News construction on his new fire station is expected to begin in a few months. The tentative completion date is a couple of years away.
"This provides a real future for the fire department as we develop the downtown," said Chief Paul Wilson with the Cathedral City Fire Department.
He says coverage by fire crews will not lack during the transition and once the station is complete, they'll provide coverage for the facilities built on tribal lands.
Stay with KMIR News for updates on this downtown plan.
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