RENO, NV - The commissioning of a new fire station is a big deal for the neighborhood, the fire department and the city at large.
So it was appropriate, perhaps Friday, that Station 12 on Steamboat Parkway was opened with appropriate pomp and circumstance, a band, speeches, a ceremonial bell-ringing and a ladder truck showing its stuff.
It was for this neighborhood which has seen much of the Truckee Meadows' growth in recent years a proud moment.
"People who live out here go by and that's their life safety protection. It's their community looking out for them," says local developer Perry DiLoreto.
Few would dispute, the station fills a need. In fact, just as the ceremonies were getting underway today, a good half hour before it was officially opened, one truck left on a medical call.
DiLoreto and other developers were responsible for more than half the cost of the new station which had been planned for 11 years.
But for all the years of planning, it's unlikely this station would be opening today, if the city and county hadn't split fire protection two years ago, undoing a decade of consolidation.
That move meant Reno's Station 14, a mile and a half away, was transferred to the new Truckee Meadows Fire Protection District even though it sits within city limits.
Reno Fire had to accelerate plans to build this station while operating from a temporary site in a less central location.
"It did speed things up," says Reno Mayor Bob Cashell., "After the divorce we didn't have a unit in this area, They were all in a quonset hut over there."
Now there's talk that some county officials believe the deconsolidation has not been the money saving solution it was thought to be and they might be open to some sort of reconciliation.
If that were to happen, this new station would fit well into a renewed consolidation.
It's no secret many in Reno think that would be a positive step. If I were to happen Station 14 and a new Truckee Meadows station near Arrowcreek would cover the south valley well. The old Station 14 with increasing access problems would likely not be needed and could be sold.
Regardless of what the future holds, the new station on Steamboat Parkway is a positive step for people who live near.
"Whether we consolidate or not this is a strategic location for this station. It's well located and well designed and should serve this community for years to come," says Reno Fire Chief Michael Hernandez.
The opening ceremonies were not open to the public, but Saturday morning Station 12 will host an open house and pancake breakfast for everyone in the area.