Cloverdale Operation Life facility to open at Oct. 20 open house

Tuesday, October 11, 2011
Kraig Kinney, executive director of Putnam County Operation Life, is pleased with the progress of the new Cloverdale facility. Staff members will soon be moving back in as they are currently stationed at the Cloverdale Fire Department.

CLOVERDALE -- Cloverdale will soon have a new Operation Life facility. The project has taken almost 90 days to build and is expected to open within the next two weeks.

The building, located at 52 E. Mill St., will be holding an open house on Thursday, Oct. 20 from 5:30-6:30 p.m.

The old Cloverdale Operation Life building was built back in the 1970s and was once used as a bait shop. Finally, after nearly 40 years, the administration approved replacing the facility and planning started last January.

"Basically it had outlived its usefulness," OL Executive Director Kraig Kinney said.

The new facility is much larger than the old one and is similar to the Bainbridge facility. It includes two larger bays to accommodate not only larger ambulances but to house a back-up ambulance as well.

The facility is also much greener then the old one. They new building has motion-sensor lights throughout as well as a tankless water heater to help save on energy bills. It also has central air and ceiling fans, which is a major step up from the one window unit the building used to have.

"We tried to be as environmentally friendly as we can," said Kinney. "We built this with the future in mind."

When doing that, the ambulance service also included a new generator that is powerful enough to power the entire station.

In the old station, if there was a power outage due to a storm, workers were forced to sit in the dark and some had issues getting the bay doors up in case of an emergency. The generator is much more effective and reliable.

Operation Life also built two bunkrooms in the facility to accommodate the different sleep schedules of the staff. At one time there typically are two or three people there 24 hours a day.

The staff of Operation Life is currently located within the Cloverdale Fire Department. The fire department was generous enough to provide Operation Life with not only a bay area but an office as well, Kinney said.

"We are looking forward to coming back to our station," he added.

Operation Life is a non-profit organization that is contracted by the county. The Cloverdale department covers U.S. 40, anything south of the Cloverdale to the county line, as well as parts of Morgan and Owen counties.

The new building was built only with reserve money saved up over four years.

"It took three to four years of saving," Kinney said. "It is not the community's tax dollars."

To give back to the community, Operation Life will be hosting an open house event. It's a time where anyone can come see the new building and ask any questions they may have.

"It's a good time for us to mingle with the community," explained Kinney. "It lets people see the end result."

The building is almost finished inside and out. There are a few more finishing touches to perfect but, they should be right on schedule to either move in next week or right before the Oct. 20 open house.

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