Fire stations in Craigmont and Winchester materializes with community support & CEDA loan

CRAIGMONT, ID - Three years ago, two rural communities were in desperate need of new fire stations.

Craigmont and Winchester are finally seeing their dreams become a reality, all thanks to private and corporate donations and grants.

Reporter Shannon Moudy shows us the results of all their hard work.

Craigmont Volunteer Fire Chief Rick Samsel can't believe he's standing in a brand new fire station.

"I have to pinch myself," said Samsel. "It's something that we've dreamed about for many, many years."

Samsel said he's not even sure when the original wooden fire station was built.

"Around 1960 they built a brick building," said Samsel.

However the brick building was the same size as the original, something that posed a problem as time went on.

"There wasn't enough room for two guys to put their stuff on alongside the engine," said Samsel.

Primeland sold the department property for a new site. However, they needed help funding a building. Unfortunately, because of their size, their income didn't qualify them for a grant."

"An individual department around here doesn't really stand a chance," said Samsel.

The department decided to join with their long-time partners, the Winchester Rural Fire Department. The Clearwater Economic Development Association helped the departments secure a loan.

"CEDA is the driving force behind this process," said Samsel.

But Samsel said that none of this would have been possible without the help from the communities of Craigmont and Winchester.

"We can never show our appreciation enough for them," said Samsel.

The Craigmont station is near completion and the new Winchester rural station will soon break ground.

"There's not one of us that's not proud as a new dad," said Samsel.

Since the new station was built, Craigmont Volunteer Fire Department's fire rating has gone from a six to a five, something Samsel said is impressive for such a small town. They will have an official unveiling this Saturday at the Craigmont June Picnic.