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Hays Free Press
Kyle, Texas
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March 3, 2010     Hays Free Press
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March 3, 2010
 

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HaysFreePress.com CLASSIFIEDS PUBLIC NOTICES SERVICE DIRECTORY March 3, 2010 Page 1D PHOTOS BY SEAN KIMMONS Kyle's newest lifeline BY SF..N KIMMONS sean@haysfreepress.com ires beware: The mammoth 21,O00-square-foot Kyle Fire Station #1 on Main Street is n6 in sFice? ........ At $3.6 million, Kyle's newest fire station boasts enough room for six fire and rescue vehicles in its three large bays and 13 bedrooms for flrefighters on rest between calls. A large classroom in the building offers room for training courses. "For this side of town, it helps response times," Kyle Fire De- partment Chief Glenn Whitaker said of the new station. "It's also a good training facility with ad- equate space for training." The department now has three fire stations and more than 70 frefighters. Only 19 of them are full-time paid employees while the rest serve voluntarily. Whitaker says that six firefight- ers will be on duty during the day with two on the nightshift at the new station. To keep up with the growing city, the department plans to hire more in the future with funds generated by the Emergency Services District #5, not city taxes. 'Tm sure there are people out there that think it's too big," Whita- ker said of the new station. "We're trying to build it for the future, instead of adding on to it later." The station may even help lower home insurance premiums for residents within ESD #5. The Texas Department of Insurance uses a rating system known as the hxsurance Services Office, or ISO, to grade the effectiveness of a fire department in its area. The lower the grade, the better chance insurance premiums will be reduced. The ratings are from the best at one to the worst at 10. The Kyle department currently stands at six in the city and nine in rural areas. The Buda Fire Department recently slashed its rate down to a three, following construction of new fire stations and other improvements. "We're in the process of doing a re-rate," Whitaker said. "I'm hop- ing to get it done this year." The two-story fire station is named after two local fuefighter legends: lames Miller and George Whitaker, who have since passed awa Both men joined the depart- ment in 1946 and served more than 50 years as volunteers. "They were in before we had any paid positions," Whitaker said of Miller and his father, George. Whitaker said he had no idea that the station would honor his late father. "It's pretty neat," he said. "It was a total surprise to me." Bartlett Cocke, of Austin, which has built all of the Hays CISD schools in the past 10 years or so, constructed the station, Whitaker said. The Kyle Fire Department's new 21,000-square-foot, $3.6 million station on Main Street is now up and running. Built to accommodate future growth, the two-story station can house 13 firefighters and six fire trucks, and also has large classrooms and office spaces. TRAPS in Kyle :: KYLE" he Texas Recreation and Park Society (TRAPS) is a non- proft 501(c)3 professional and educational organi- zation founded in 1937. TRAPS is committed to ad- vancing the field of parks, recreation and leisure services in Texas, while advocating for enhanced recreation opportunities and the increase of public green space for Texans. TRAPS serves as a dear- inghouse of information on parks and recreation, fosters networking and promotes the sharing of information, and is the foremost state association for professionals in the parks, recreation and tourism industry. All Rec- reation and Parks/Grounds fuil-time employees of your Kyle PARD are members of TRAPS. The State of Texas is broken into nine regions within the TRAPS organiza- tion. The City of Kyle lies within the Central Region. This region includes all the areas fromWaco to New Braunfels and Col- lege Station to Marble Falls. For most Regional events and programs, the Central Region joins with the Rio Grande Region which in- cludes San Antonio, Seguin, Schertz and Eagle Pass. Recently, the Central Region and the Rio Grande Region held a workshop and Equipment Rodeo. During the workshop, attendees participated in breakout sessions on topics ranging from "Doing more with less" and "10 things they didn't teach you in school". Parks maintenance workers, the backbone of the department, had a competition testing skills in backing a trailer, han- dling a backhoe, driving nails, working a backpack blower, assembling irriga- tion components, handling a riding mower and more. There are a total of 43 parks departments and organizations within these two regions. The top 15 equipment chal- lenge winners are invited to participate against the other regional qualifiers at the TRAPS State Equip- ment Rodeo in Frisco. Out of those 43 cities and ar- eas, and the 15 qualifiers, the City of Kyle sent three to the State Rodeo. While you read this article, Nathan Wehrman (Back- hoe), Joe Cantu (Back- pack Blower) and Amado Gomez (Nail Driving) will have already competed in their events. Your Kyle Parks Depart- ment is well represented on TRAPS' state commit- tees. Recreation Manager Deidre Flores is Chair of the Student Development Committee and Direc- tor Kerry Orbanowicz is Vice-Chair of the Finance Committee. BIZ NOTES Network launch Time Warner Cable is offi- cially launching a 4G mobile network in Central Texas, starting with Road Run- ner Mobile. Time Warner is advertising speeds of up to six Mbps on the mobile network, comparable to residential Road Runner High Speed Online cable. All plans include Road Runner web mail, internet security and data storage.