Construction Begins on Newest Fire Station

CCFR Fire Station #5 under construction

Central County Fire & Rescue Station (CCFR) Fire Station #5 will soon have a new home. Construction is now underway for a new station at 3421 Harry S. Truman Blvd. in St. Charles, Missouri.

The station’s replacement is part of the community-created SAFE-T (Securing A Future of Excellence – Together) long-range plan, and is being funded by proceeds from the 2015 Prop. S bond issue.

“We are so proud to have the support of the St. Peters community as we take these important steps to improve our fire district, and in turn enhance the level of emergency service we’re able to provide,” CCFR Fire Chief Dan Aubuchon says. “This new station will allow CCFR to grow with our growing community.”

The new 13,000 square foot building will include three engine bays, a decontamination room for emergency equipment and personnel, a storage room for firefighter gear, a storm shelter for on-duty personnel, a physical training room and an emergency generator for non disruption of power.

“Our current location is too small to house the modern rescue equipment our crews need, and can only house three firefighters at a time, which doesn’t meet the National Fire Protection Association’s latest recommendations,” Aubuchon says, adding the current building is more than 40 years old and has a history of mold.

In addition to being larger and better equipped for modern rescue needs, it is also closer to where more emergency calls originate within the District. Aubuchon says this will allow for faster, more efficient emergency response to more residents and travelers in the high-traffic Hwy. 370 and Hwy. 70 areas.

Plans are in progress for the current Station #5 building at 2934 Ehlmann Rd. to be used as a headquarters for the Central County Community Assistance Program, which responds to emergencies throughout St. Charles County.

This volunteer-led program provides victim assistance such as temporary shelter, food and clothing, and referrals to other resources for long-term needs. They also provide canteen services to firefighters from all area departments, who often spend hours on the scene of a call without access to food and water.

The new station is estimated to cost $3 million, was designed by Hurford Architects and is being built by LayneCo Construction Services. It is expected to open for service mid to late 2019.

Learn more about the current and new CCFR Fire Station #5:

Recent CCFR Promotions

We’ve been busy celebrating four recent promotions at Central County Fire & Rescue (CCFR).

Engineers Brad Day and Allan Gacki

In this new role, Brad Day and Allan Gacki are responsible for driving and operating the fire truck during emergency situations.

Captains Don Shaffer and Jake Taylor

As captains, Don Shaffer and Jake Taylor are responsible for leading a three to four person engine company and serving as an incident commander in emergency situations. They also coordinates, oversees and recommends training programs for his crew.

Congratulations to you all on these much-deserved promotions, and thank you for all you do for CCFR and the community!

Learn more about our CCFR team here.

CCFR Firefighters Rescue, Revive Cat After Basement Fire

In early May, Central County Fire & Rescue (CCFR) firefighters received a call about a residential basement fire. Crews arrived on the scene within minutes to find all residents gathered safely outdoors.

All residents but one, that is.

One of the residents told firefighters their cat was still inside, and the CCFR crew immediately started their search. When the cat was found unresponsive, the crew began to administer CPR, successfully resuscitating the cat before returning her to her owners so they could bring her to the veterinarian.

“At CCFR, we know that for many residents, pets are just another member of the family,” Assistant Chief Steve Brown says. “We’re committed to keeping every member of our community safe — even the furry ones — and that’s why every CCFR fire truck is equipped with a special pet resuscitation kit.”

Assistant Fire Chief To Retire After 51 Years of Service

May 13. It is a day that Central County Fire & Rescue (CCFR) Assistant Chief Brian Ochs will never forget. Nearly 50 years ago, on May 13, 1969, two St. Charles Township Volunteer firefighters were tragically killed in a fire truck accident. On May 13, 2018, Ochs will honor these friends as he hangs up his gear one final time and retires from the fire service.

“I was supposed to be on that call in 1969, but I wasn’t. I have carried memories of that night with me for nearly 50 years, and it has guided me to make safety the top priority no matter what. Everyone needs to go home after every call,” says Ochs.

If you ask Ochs about his biggest accomplishment as an Assistant Chief, he replies with a simple statement, “Everybody went home,” he says.

“Brian has made an immeasurable impact on our community and our fire district. All of us here at Central County have learned so much from him and his experience in the fire service. We are going to miss having him here,” says CCFR Chief Dan Aubuchon.

When Ochs first joined the fire service as a volunteer in 1967, there were less than 100,000 residents in St. Charles County, and there was more farmland than neighborhoods and commercial development. He has seen the community and the fire service change dramatically over 51 years.

“The biggest single change I have seen is in how we communicate. We used to have a pager that told you where to go. Now, we have access to so much information before we even arrive on the scene, and we have the details we need to respond faster and more efficiently,” he says. “The training required and equipment we have access to has also changed dramatically.”

As the Assistant Chief of Operations Ochs is responsible for the daily and long-term management and staffing of suppression personnel. He is also responsible for buildings, apparatus and firefighting equipment and responds to all first alarm or special alarms within the fire district.

Born and raised in St. Charles, Ochs joined St. Charles Fire Protection District (SCFPD) as a junior firefighter in 1967. Before becoming Chief of SCFPD in 1990, he served as a police officer in St. Charles County as well as volunteer Chief of SCFPD. In 1998, after the consolidation of St. Charles Fire Protection District and St. Peters Fire Protection District, he became an Assistant Chief for Central County Fire and Rescue.

“You can’t do something for 51 years and just walk away. I’m going to miss all of it, but it’s time for someone else to have a chance to lead,” he says.

Ochs will be honored at a retirement luncheon on Friday, May 11 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at CCFR Fire Station #1, 1 Timberbrook Dr., St. Peters, MO 63376.

Tanker Truck Fire on I-70

At approximately 4 a.m. on Monday, April 23 Central County Fire & Rescue (CCFR) responded to a semi-truck fire on the eastbound entrance ramp to Interstate Highway 70 at Veterans Memorial Parkway and Mid Rivers Mall Dr. in St. Peters, Missouri.

When crews arrived on the scene, they learned that the truck was transporting ethanol, a highly flammable liquid. The ethanol ignited when the tanker truck missed the entrance to the highway and rolled over, resulting in a significant flammable liquid fire.

Utilizing their Hazardous Materials (HAZMAT) training the team assessed the scene, isolated the area by closing the highway and the service road and requested additional assistance.

Because of the location of the fire and the highly flammable liquid they were dealing with, CCFR crews determined the best course of action was to contain the burning liquid and allow it to burn off.

“The truck was positioned away from any buildings, and the driver had safely escaped the scene. We needed to wait for the liquid to burn off so the ethanol would not remain on the roadway. If we had extinguished the fire the process of removing the liquid once the fire was extinguished would have resulted in a more dangerous situation, risking the potential of reigniting and injury to firefighters and bystanders. The cleanup process also would have taken several hours longer,” says CCFR Chief Dan Aubuchon.

The driver of the truck was transported to the hospital with minor injuries. I-70 reopened around 7:30 a.m., but the service road will remain closed for repairs from damage caused by the heat of the fire.

As part of a mutual-aid agreement multiple emergency response organizations responded to the fire including a specialized HAZMAT team. This team is comprised of personnel and equipment from numerous emergency response organization throughout St. Charles, Warren, and Lincoln counties that are specially trained and equipped to assist in mitigating incidents involving hazardous materials.

“When you are dealing with a situation of this magnitude access to additional resources ensures the safety of our community and first responders,” says Aubuchon.

We are thankful that no one was seriously injured and that we were able to work together to reopen access to the highway.”

Click here to see a map of where the fire happened.