While the firefighters' mascot, the Dalmatian, sits patiently out front of the new fire station in Rembrandt, there's still work to be done inside.
"Work has been going well for us so far, and now we're focused on completing fundraising," said Fire Chief Dennis Anderson.
The fire station project began in 1999. The Rembrandt, Lincoln and Scott Townships Volunteer Fire Department was in need of a new facility to house its five vehicles. There was also a need for increased space for meetings and training.
Fundraising began in July of 1999 and within the first year the department had collected half of the total project cost of $120,000. The basic shell of the fire station was completed in time for the Rembrandt Centennial last year, and the department was able to move its trucks into the building a few weeks before the July centennial celebration.
According to Anderson, the new facility has been wonderful.
"It's been working out really well for us," he said. "It's been an economic building so far this winter, with heating costs about half of the other two buildings we had for fire stations before. Plus we have all kinds of room to do our own maintenance work."
Before construction of a new station, the Rembrandt Fire Department was spread between two buildings, including part of the library. The locations were cramped and difficult to operate from.
"The new station has been a great benefit for the overall organization of the department," Anderson said.
When plans were first discussed for a new facility, the department's new tanker truck had to be stored outside because of a lack of space. The new facility allows the department to keep all of its vehicles inside, even its antique fire truck. There is ample meeting space for the 17 volunteer firefighters, as well as running water, a kitchen and bathrooms.
While all of the department's equipment is now stored within the new station, not all of the interior construction is complete. This includes some meeting rooms and a kitchen area, as well as a shop to work on the trucks.
The Rembrandt Fire Department estimates it needs $20,000 more to complete work on the fire station. Anderson said they hope to complete it by the fall of 2002.
To reach that goal, the fire department continues to plan a series of fundraisers. On July 14 there will be the second annual tractor pull and on July 20 the annual street dance. The department also shoots off fireworks on the Fourth of July, and is organizing water fights with other area departments around the same time. In August there will be a charity auction.
Also, memorial bricks are still for sale for $25. The bricks will carry nameplates and be on display at the fire station.
Anderson said it is important to thank the community for what has been done at the new fire station.
"We'd like to thank the community for all the support we've had so far," he said. "The station is not finished, but we appreciate everything that's been done."
While the station serves the fire protection needs of the community, it is also available for rental on a donation basis. Any one interested in donating to the project or purchasing a brick can direct donations to the Rembrandt Fire Department, P.O. 140, Rembrandt, Iowa 50576.