The Spokane Valley Fire Department’s newest station has got a name: Greenacres.
But some members of the fire commission don’t want to lose the station’s number.
The station’s numeric designation, No. 10, has been longstanding in the parlance of the department’s employees. But the numeral has zero resonance with community members. Last month, a Customer Loyalty Effect
Committee, formed by the department a year ago, suggested that the digits should be dumped in favor of monikers that more accurately reflect the neighborhoods the stations are, well, stationed.
At their June 21 meeting, the commissioners unanimously agreed with that suggestion. And while they said the transition will likely be a slow one – finances won’t allow for a complete transformation all at once – it was decided that the new Station 10, which will be dedicated on Saturday, Sept. 11, at 9 a.m. – would be the best place to start.
But while most of the commissioners said they are more than happy to dispose of the numeric designations altogether – especially since it’s just department employees who use them anyway -- two members said that, for the sake of history and identity, it might make sense to still have them around in some form.
“I think it’s the numbers that connect the dots,” said Commissioner Kolby Hanson, who said he wanted a station number somewhere on the building because it shows the station is part of a larger Spokane Valley fire district.
Board Chairman Bill Anderson agreed, but said he no problems with renaming Station 10 the Greenacres Fire Station – but the number should be present somewhere.
Deputy Fire Chief Larry Rider said he “put a lot of thought” into the committee’s recommendation and ultimately decided it would be confusing to have a name and a number on the same sign or on the side of a building outside a station.
“It sounds like it’s the 10th station in Greenacres then,” he said.
Rider suggested that the unique logo design of the fire department – incorporating gold, black and red – would become the unique branding of the department like red, white and blue is synonymous with Pepsi cola.
“You see the Spokane Valley Fire Department as a beacon,” he said.
The new fire station, expected to be finished in October, costs $1.6 million and will replace a converted manufactured home at 17217 E. Sprague. The 10,400-square-foot structure will enable the department to be able to house more equipment and staff than the current site.
Further new stations – and the older ones – would also receive names as time goes on. The department is expected to construct a new administration building next to Station 8, located at 2110 N. Wilbur, next year. A new Station 6, at 6306 E. Sprague, will follow. Construction costs are being funded through levy lid lift dollars.
Even though the majority of the fire commissioners appear to be in favor of moving forward of phasing out the station numbers, the matter will be brought before the fire commissioners at their July 26 meeting for final consideration.