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(PHOTOS) Cheyenne staff, first responders host ribbon-cutting ceremony for new fire stations

The new facilities and fire engines were funded by a Sixth Penny Special Tax in late 2021. Nearly three quarters of voters approved the optional tax.

Mayor Patrick Collins cuts the ceremonial ribbon to celebrate Cheyenne Fire Rescue's three new fire stations Thursday, March 21 at CFR's new Station 5 on Converse Avenue. (Jared Gendron/Cap City News)

CHEYENNE, Wyo. — Dozens of Laramie County staff and residents celebrated the completion of new fire stations and engines Thursday. The city’s three facilities are the first new stations in Cheyenne in more than 30 years.

Members of Cheyenne’s City Council, Cheyenne Fire Rescue staff, county commissioners and station construction and design team members were in attendance during the ceremony, which was at CFR Station 5, 4200 Converse Ave. The event comes nearly a year and a half after the facility’s groundbreaking ceremony in early October 2022.

City leaders said the new stations will allow emergency responders to achieve better response times, to work under safer conditions and serve as a comfortable “second home” for first responders and medical staff.

“Today, fire houses often reflect the architectural design of the surrounding community,” said John Fitzgerald, battalion chief with the City of Cheyenne, during Thursday’s ceremony.

Fitzgerald explained that centuries ago, whenever firefighters received new horses at their fire stations, they would invite local clergy to offer blessings onto the horse to grant it a long life, strength and speed. The blessings also served to protect the station itself from evil spirits and gremlins, the battalion chief said.

Laramie County community members and government workers head inside the new CFR Station 5 to attend a ribbon-cutting ceremony Thursday, March 21. (Jared Gendron/Cap City News)
Cheyenne Battalion Chief John Fitzgerald addresses city staff and community members during a ribbon-cutting ceremony Thursday, March 21 at CFR’s new Station 5 on Converse Avenue. (Jared Gendron/Cap City News)

“As you will see today, we will honor those longstanding traditions by putting in service our new fire stations and apparatus,” Fitzgerald said.

Other city leaders sat in attendance beside Fitzgerald, including Cheyenne Rescue Chief John Kopper, retired Wyoming State Fire Marshal Mark Young and Mayor Patrick Collins. The Cheyenne mayor lauded Laramie County voters for supporting an optional sales tax to make the new stations a possibility.

“I can tell you guys, as I speak to other mayors and governing bodies across the state, we are the envy,” Collins said to attendees. “We’re the envy of the state with the support that you guys give us — for this beautiful station and all the things that we asked you to do. We asked for $120 million, and you guys gave it to us. We take that investment and put it back into our cities, our towns and in our county. And that kind of support to me, it’s just amazing.”

The new stations and fire engines are the result of Laramie County voters supporting an optional Sixth Penny Special Tax in late 2021. Over 73% of voters approved of the tax, resulting in the fire personnel receiving $15,762,000 to construct three brand-new fire stations and $4,262,000 to replace outdated fire engines.

City staff continued with the ceremony process, raising the American flag outside the station’s front entrance, hosing down a new fire engine for a “wetdown” to bring it good luck and pushing the engine inside Station 5’s garage. Mayor Collins had the honor of cutting the ribbon using golden shears.

CFR Station 5 will begin operations Friday. Cheyenne’s other two stations will each open over the next month.

City staff members salute the raised American flag during a ceremony Thursday, March 21 at CFR’s new Station 5 on Converse Avenue. (Jared Gendron/Cap City News)
A first responder hoses down one of Cheyenne Fire Rescue’s new trucks in a “wetdown” ceremony Thursday, March 21 at CFR’s new Station 5 on Converse Avenue. The wetdown honors a centuries-old tradition where clergy would splash holy water on fire station horses. (Jared Gendron/Cap City News)
Cheyenne city staff and community members push a fie engine inside CFR Station 5 on Thursday, March 21. (Jared Gendron/Cap City News)
A Cheyenne community member looks inside a new fire engine after a ribbon-cutting ceremony Thursday, March 21 at CFR’s new Station 5 on Converse Avenue. (Jared Gendron/Cap City News)

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