Big changes are coming to TVF&R King City station


New building, equipment, signal light changes are in the future

A new Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue station is coming to King City.

Troy Spisla, captain of the King City station, announced the plan at the June 6 King City City Council meeting to replace the small, aging facility located on Pacific Highway south of Fischer Road.

According to Spisla, the rebuild should occur in 2014 using funds from the November 2006 $77.5 million bond measure approved by fire district voters.

The bond's purpose is to rebuild existing stations, purchase emergency response apparatus, build additional fire stations, correct operational and safety deficiencies at fire stations, relocate TVF&R's command and business operations center, and purchase land.

"We are in the preliminary design phase now," Spisla said. "It is an excellent location, but the footprint (allowable building size) is small, so we are limited in what we can do. We might possibly purchase the property next door.

"We also will have to look for a place for our crews to live during the construction."

In addition, another change is coming to the station much sooner: On July 2, the facility will become the new home for two tenders.

"We fight a lot of rural fires in the Stafford, Wilsonville and Sherwood areas without nearby hydrants, and tenders - water tanks on wheels - are currently sent to those fires along with engines but with the same four-man crew," Spisla said.

"What we are going to do is move the tankers closer to rural areas, so we will have full bays at the King City station with our fire engine, medic unit and two tenders.

"If a rural fire occurs, a fire engine will respond, and tankers will be sent separately."

When a city councilor asked how the first responding fire engine crew would fight a fire before a tanker arrived, Spisla answered that every engine has 500 to 700 gallons of water onboard - enough to start fighting a fire.

On another front, Spisla said that TVF&R is working with the Oregon Department of Transportation on Opticon system upgrades to some traffic signals at the intersection of Pacific Highway and Durham Road.

"The majority of intersections already have it, so we can change the light to green to clear the intersection for us," he said.

"But not all the lights at the intersection with Durham Road have it, so we are working with ODOT to add the system. That is our most unsafe intersection."

Spisla also reported that Lt. Tim Nokes has been named as the second runner-up for the American Legion's National Firefighter of the Year.

Nokes, who works out of the King City station, was first named earlier this year as Firefighter of the Year by Tigard American Legion Post 158, then Oregon Firefighter of the Year and finally Western Regional Firefighter of the Year, putting him in the running with four other candidates for the national honor.

Nokes was recognized for being a field training officer for more than a decade, developing strong relationships with local community members, and serving on several TVF&R committees plus as a health trust member for Local 1660.