Coalgate's $1.5 million public safety building opens

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COALGATE, OK -- Coalgate emergency workers received a present of their own this holiday season, a brand new $1.5 million facility.

Coalgate firefighters, EMS and police have gotten used to operating out of a century old building, but now they're moving into a new building that's not just spacious, it's safe.

It's been a 15 year process, now the new Coalgate public safety building is complete.

Emergency officials say it's a major improvement from their old building, that was built in 1909.

"Some of the wood and everything has got some mold growing in it. Starting to fall down, mortar out of the walls is starting fall out of it," Fire Chief David Holt said.

"Just the living conditions over there got to a point, you know they were cramped, cramped in, and you know the air quality. It was just tough, they were in a tough building to be living in," Roger Cosper said.

The 13,000 square foot facility can house all 8 firetrucks and ambulances. It has two holding cells with new safe locks, and each firefighter now has their own bedroom.

"Oh, the guys are very excited," Chief Holt said.

It's the return of a firehouse tradition that has firefighters thrilled.

"The pole is back. The pole was gone in the old station and the guys enjoy sliding down the pole. That's the most interesting thing to me," Chief Holt said.

Emergency officials got to take part in the design process, and held fundraisers to pay for the bedroom and living room furniture.

"Whenever you make it comfortable for your people to work, you know they perform a little bit better," Chief Holt said.

The Choctaw Nation helped pay for the $1.5 million facility. City Manager, Roger Cosper, says they also used sales tax revenue brought in by the booming natural gas business in the county.

"A few years ago there was an extremely big boom here. It's slowed down a little bit now, but it's still going on. It's still active, a very active area. And it's raised, it's helped us out with our sales tax and that's what supports our community and that provided funds for this facility," Cosper said.

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