Mayor Jerry Pullen recalled how in 1995 Terry Bryant as mayor signed the ordinance calling for the capitol improvement tax that made opening the new station as well as the purchase of new equipment possible for Sikeston. He credited Bryant with being "instrumental" in bringing a fire station to the west end.
Bryant is the type of person who, when called upon for help, will always lend a hand if able, according to Pullen. "I can't think of anybody better to dedicate this facility to."
The new fire station will serve the west end and central areas of the city "as well as providing a safe haven for those who may need it," according to Drew Juden, director of Public Safety.
"Last but not least, I want to thank the citizens of Sikeston," said Juden. He said if they had not approved the tax, the fire station would not have been possible. "I want each of you to remember to be 'Sikeston Proud'."
Flowers were presented to Bryant's wife, Sharon, and the Sikeston Honor Guard raised the flag outside the facility for the first time.
"I humbly appreciate all the kind remarks that were made," said Bryant.
His efforts on the council were always "for the future of this city," Bryant said. "I care about the people of this community."
Bryant said just caring is not enough, however. "There's got to be a commitment."
He credited the present council's commitment "to see it through" as well as the community's support of the DPS. "We didn't start (our support) after 9-11, we started before 9-11," Bryant said.
The Sikeston DPS is a "top notch public safety department," said Bryant. "They're watching over you." Following the ceremonies, tours were conducted by DPS officials. "The new ladder, Engine 2 and a tanker are running out of it," according to Capt. Jim Hailey, DPS fire division commander.
Hailey said in addition to the three fire engine bays, the station also has a decontamination unit, quarters for six officers and is fully self-contained with its own generator. "It runs the entire facility," said Hailey.
The gathering was also used by Chief Juden as an opportunity to announce the promotion of Sikeston DPS officer Dennis Irwin from the rank of sergeant to lieutenant.