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Ripon Fire breaks ground on 3rd station
$1.8M fire house being built at River & North Ripon roads
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Ground breaking ceremonies were complete with the turning of the soil with seven golden shovels Thursday morning. Ripon Consolidated Fire Chief Dennis Bitters hosted the event with Ripon Mayor Chuck Wynn, at left, leading the group that included Congressman Jeff Denham, San Joaquin Board of Supervisors Chairman Bob Elliott and fire department board members Don Wever and Bryce Perkins. - photo by GLENN KAHL

The Ripon Consolidated Fire District (RCFD) broke ground Thursday morning for its third station.

It is being built on the northwest corner of River and North Ripon roads.

Officials taking part in the ground breaking ceremonies included Chief Dennis Bitters, Congressman Jeff Denham, Chairman of the San Joaquin County Board of Supervisors Bob Elliott, Ripon Mayor Chuck Wynn and fire district board members Don Wever and Bryce Perkins.

The $1.8 million facility will encompass 6,400 square feet with four bedrooms for firefighters and medics, an apparatus room and a police office within its walls.  Initially it will be staffed 24/7 with one full-time fireman and a reserve firefighter.  Ripon has one of the largest numbers of reserves in the region now at 30.

Completion of the station is expected in 270 days for the department that covers 56 square miles.  Ripon responded to 1,555 emergency calls during the 2013 year, according to Chief Bitters. 

Developer Mark Wilbur provided the district with three residential lots for the new station at half the going rate.

Bryce Perkins, board vice president, told neighbors in the crowd that he envisioned the station would enhance the Corner Stone Community.  “This is your fire house,” he said.

He credited Chief Bitters for bringing the new station to the community at a very opportune time for Ripon.  Perkins complimented him for being a “very conservative manager” and also in being very effective in the human resources field.

“He knows how to manage the buck in this district, doing well through the tough times,” Perkins said.  “This is the right time and we can afford it now,” he added.  Perkins noted that the station will also provide a safe house for school children going to and from school.  It will also include an office for the Ripon Police Department’s officers on the street in that area.

In addition to two Ripon fire trucks taking part in the ceremonies; one also came to the event from the Salida station of the Stanislaus County Fire District.