Fort Polk Guardian 04-14-2017

Vol. 44, No. 15 Published for the community of Fort Polk, La. April 14, 2017 Guardian Fort Polk Inside the Guardian Engineer leadership ... 3 OCT Academy............. 6 Summer safet y .......... 7 Egg drop event .......... 13 Color run ................. 14 #FortPolkBucketList .. 17 Weekend weather Today Saturday Sunday 83 77 81 62 10% 80% 60% 65 64 Rain chance Rain chance Rain chance $12.8 million, 30 years FORT POLK, La. — Command Sgt. Maj. Melissa A. Judkins, com- mand sergeant major, U.S. Army In- stallation Management Command, once called it a “Taj Mahal of a fire station,” but the men and women who spend most of their time there simply call it home. The new Fort Polk Fire Station 1, bldg 001, located on the corner of Louisiana and Mississippi avenues, was officially opened with a ribbon- cutting ceremony April 12. Several members of the firefighting and law enforcement community, Direc- torate of Public Works, Army Corps of Engineers and Ross Group Con- struction Corporation, as well as the Joint Readiness Training Center and Fort Polk command group, attend- ed the event. Many people who live and work at Fort Polk have likely driven past the impressive structure, with its distinctive 21-foot tall red bay doors, but few may be aware of how much money and time it took to get this building in place and op- erational — $12.8 million and 30 years. “The project dates back to March 1987, when it was first logged into the Directorate of Public Works’ project folder,” said Col. David Athey, Fort Polk garrison com- mander and guest speaker for the grand opening. “It has spanned a generation of DPW employees who fought long and hard for approval and funding.” Athey said that while any ribbon- cutting at Fort Polk is an indicator of growth and improvement, this one has life-saving significance. “For me, any ribbon-cutting on Fort Polk is a big event because it signi- fies that yet another facility — an- other benefit — has become avail- able to the Fort Polk community. This one is special because it not only belongs to the entire Fort Polk community, but also houses the emergency services personnel whose job it is to save our lives,” he said. “There’s nothing more impor- tant than that.” The nearly 27,000 square foot fa- cility houses everything a modern firefighter could want or need in a fire station, including: • Double-occupancy dorm rooms with blackout blinds for day sleep- ers • Fitness and cardio rooms • Modern classroom for weekly training • Computer room with multiple stations for online coursework • Full kitchen and dining room with attached dayroom area (com- plete with recliners, ping pong and foosball tables, and big screen tele- vision) • On-site laundry facility • Conference room • Outdoor basketball half-court • Decontamination shower area • Two large bays to house vehi- Fort Polk Fire Station officially opens By JEAN DUBIEL Guardian staff writer These distinctive red bay doors measure 16-by-21 feet each, and are capable of opening at a rate of 2 feet per second.The Fort Polk Central Fire Station officially opened April 12 with a ribbon-cutting cere- mony and tours of the facility. JEAN DUBIEL / GUARDIAN Please see Fire , page 5