New Bonner EMS station nears completion

by KEITH KINNAIRD
News editor | October 29, 2020 1:00 AM

PONDERAY — Bonner County officials are cutting the ribbon on a new EMS station on Monday, Nov. 9.

The event is set for 11 a.m. The new station is located at 60 Moody Lane, which is off Kootenai Cutoff Road.

"Our tentative goal is to have a crew in there by the first of November," said EMS Chief Jeff Lindsey said.

Lindsey said the punch list of final alterations to the facility is in the process of being knocked out, although the novel coronavirus pandemic caused appliances for the crew's quarters to be backordered.

"We’re just going to try and make do until we get their appliances," Lindsey said.

Lindsey said the new station will aid emergency medical response north and east of Sandpoint. Lindsey estimated that the area receives 800-900 calls annually. Those call volumes are expected to increase, particularly with the surge in residential development in the Highway 200 corridor, Lindsey said.

The new station cost approximately $350,000 to construct and is decidedly more modest than the new station that was installed in Sagle a couple of years ago.

"It's no Taj Mahal," Lindsey said of the new Ponderay station.

The new station has an open room with a kitchen and sitting area, in addition to two bedrooms for an EMS crew. It will also house one of the two ambulances that is stationed at the Sandpoint facility, which the county rents.

The county plans to construct a new station on property it owns at the corner of Division and Ontario, the site of the former Calvary Chapel. In addition to an ambulance and crew, the new station will also house Bonner EMS administrative offices.

The Ponderay station will serve as a template for the new Sandpoint station because it was constructed with an eye toward fiscal conservatism.

"That’s kind of the footprint we’ll use," Lindsey said.

Construction of the new station could be completed this time next year if all goes to plan, according to Lindsey.

"The plan is to start this year, as soon as the weather breaks," Lindsey said.

Keith Kinnaird can be reached at kkinnaird@bonnercountydailybee.com or followed on Twitter @KeithDailyBee