OWASSO, Okla. -- The Owasso Fire Department is a few weeks away from opening their brand new public safety complex, which will improve response times in the north side of city.
"I’m really looking forward to this opening up, it’s going to be a lot, but going to be a lot of fun, too," said Deputy Chief Jon Wintle, with the Owasso fire department.
The complex will serve as headquarters for the fire department, a training facility for first responders, a satellite station for the police department, and fire station four.
More than a decade of planning went into this complex, and after breaking ground in 2017 the facility is now a reality.
Behind the brand new department headquarters with state of the art bunks, kitchen, weight room, and offices, there are two average looking homes. However, these are specially built to withstand fire.
"You’ve got hallways either way, bedrooms, all the little void spaces, the bathrooms, the closets, the funky little corners we have in our dwellings are built into this so that this place we can get lost in training," said Deputy Chief Wintle.
Deputy Chief Wintle says he'd rather have his firefighters get lost in training, than lost in a real house fire and get killed in the blaze.
You keep walking outside passed the homes, and you see a three story building, with each floor uniquely designed.
"You come in here this will be like the businesses, come in, maybe some offices," said Deputy Chief Wintle.
The next level is designed to replicate a nursing home or apartment complex, with a common room.
You come up to the roof and every inch is used for training.
"Each one of these are connection points for repelling we can repel off either side," said Deputy Chief Wintle.
Looking down there's a pond serving as a personal water supply that feeds back into it, and also a spot to practice rescues.
"We got a trench rescue over here behind the salt and sand storage," said Deputy Chief Wintle.
The $11 million facility approved by taxpayers in 2017 provides more coverage for the north side of Owasso.
"When we moved in we were the last street so you can tell it’s a whole other addition in the back there, so it’s probably three times the size that it was," said Anthony Debella, an Owasso resident who lives near the new complex.
The quicker response times brings comfort to residents living nearby.
"Certainly it is good that it’s a lot closer than two, three miles down the road, they’ll be here in seconds," said Debella.
While they don't have a specific date set, they plan to be fully operational sometime in May.
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