Fort Johnson increases emergency capabilities with new fire station

By Angela ThorneJanuary 19, 2024

Fort Johnson fire chief David J. Kass (left) and former fire chief Michael Kuk, cut the cake celebrating the opening of the North Fort Fire Station.
1 / 4 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Fort Johnson fire chief David J. Kass (left) and former fire chief Michael Kuk, cut the cake celebrating the opening of the North Fort Fire Station.
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Lt. Gen. Patrick D. Frank (fourth from left), U.S. Army Central commanding general; Brig. Gen. David W. Gardner (third from right), Joint Readiness Training Center and Fort Johnson commanding general; and other Fort Johnson leadership and guests cut the ribbon at the new North Fort Fire Station during a ceremony Jan. 16.
2 / 4 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Lt. Gen. Patrick D. Frank (fourth from left), U.S. Army Central commanding general; Brig. Gen. David W. Gardner (third from right), Joint Readiness Training Center and Fort Johnson commanding general; and other Fort Johnson leadership and guests cut the ribbon at the new North Fort Fire Station during a ceremony Jan. 16.
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Attendees at the Fort Johnson North Fort Fire Station ribbon cutting ceremony salute during the national anthem.
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Brig. Gen. David W. Gardner, Joint Readiness Training Center and Fort Johnson commanding general, speaks at the ribbon cutting ceremony for the North Fort Fire Station Jan. 16.
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FORT JOHNSON, La. — Fort Johnson leadership held a ribbon cutting ceremony for the North Fort Fire Station Jan. 16. Completing the 2.7 million dollar project is a testimony to the efforts of the Fort Johnson Directorate of Public Works, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Aegis Security Insurance Company.
The single story, standard design, one-company satellite fire station spans approximately 5,800 square feet. The newly completed station is located on Entrance Road, just west of the existing North Fort Fire Station.
The new building is designed to provide first responders with adequate facilities that meet current standards, and improve emergency service response to Fort Johnson and the surrounding areas. 
Brig. Gen. David W. Gardner, Joint Readiness Training Center and Fort Johnson commanding general, was the guest speaker for the ceremony.
Gardner acknowledged the work it took to complete the project and thanked the garrison and Corps of Engineers for their continued efforts to hold the project to high construction standards.
“We did the punch list. We got through it and now we have an almost 6,000 square foot facility to finally house our first responders on North Fort appropriately,” Gardner said.
He emphasized the personnel who will live and work at the station not only keep Soldiers safe while training, but also help the community outside the gate.
“The teamwork and partnership of our firefighters is amazing. They worked along with our 1st Battalion, 5th Aviation Regiment and 46th Engineers, as well as Vernon Parish and the National Guard while fighting the third largest wildfire in the United States for weeks. Through it all, we had no loss of life,” Gardner said. “They deserve this station.”
Fort Johnson Fire and Emergency Services chief, David J. Kass, said the new fire station meets all current life, health and safety standards and dramatically improves quality of life for firefighters working 48-hour shifts.
It also includes backup power to support all critical power requirements, fire protection and alarm systems and security access control. 
“The resulting improvements to quality of life is expected to aid in retaining personnel,” Kass said. “Firefighters can now take great pride in a facility that supports our efforts in keeping the Soldiers and Families of Fort Johnson safe, not to mention the community beyond our gates, as we did this past summer during the historic wildfires in our area.”
Interior spaces include: administrative, residential, training, fitness, laundry areas and more.
Capt. Elinda Hollis, lead firefighter, is currently on rotation at the North Fort Fire Station.
“The station we have been using is pretty old, so this new station is going to be better for us in many ways including better sleeping quarters, a training area, dayroom, gym and more. It will be a great place to work and relax,” Hollis said.
She said people would pass by the old North Fort Fire Station and not even realize what it was unless the bay doors were open.
“With the new station, people will actually realize there is a fire station here. I think it will give them better peace of mind to know that we are close in case the worst happens and they need us,” Hollis said.
Shane Gremillion, DPW project manager for the North Fort Fire Station, said, “The completion of the fire station is a great achievement for the installation. This new station was needed, and days like this make all the hard work worth the it.”
People interested in touring the new fire station should call 337-531-7247.