Richmond Fire Department hosted its new headquarters – located at 200 Houston St. Richmond – formal opening on Saturday. Back row, from left, are Greg Mensik, Kay Moss, Troy Coffman, Robert Melson, Ray Burciaga, Bryan Lewis, Chris McAnally, Kevin Teague, Donney Guebarra, Lori Bownds, Trevor Adkisson, Albert Cantu, Dawn Engeling, Mike Youngblood, Arron Hafer, Derek Brown, Richard Munoz, Tom Walleck, Corey Gless, Brett Hafer, Robert Gomez, David Helms and Joe Medina. Front row from left are Stephanie Rodriguez, Michelle Reyes, Clair Whitt, Alex Medrano, Captain Tim Bunch, Hector Torres, Manny Flores, Matt Ricks, Dillon O’Brian, Chris Clayton, Willy Solis, Adam Budnik, Steven McGilbery, Rebecca Densmore, Gabe Escochea and Lady, the department’s fire dog. Not Pictured: Matt Cyrus, William Young, Sam Revers and Gino Maldonado. The Richmond Fire Department’s new first station, located at 200 Houston St. Richmond, is open for business. “The formal opening recognized the efforts of many people who helped get the department where it is today,” said Fire Chief Michael Youngblood. The day began with Youngblood welcoming the attendees with a formal opening of the new fire station. Fire Marshal Albert Cantu orchestrated the “posting of the colors,” a term meaning the raising of the new flags – of the United States of America, the state of Texas and the Richmond Fire Department – by the B.F. Terry JROTC. And Lamar Consolidated High School student Miguel Portillo trumpeted “The Star Spangled Banner.” City Manager Terri Vela offered her gratitude to those who contributed to making the new station a reality. Robert Hodge offered a prayerful dedication to the new building and expressed appreciation for all public servants. Mayor Evalyn Moore concluded by speaking on behalf of the City by thanking the collaborative effort between the City, Bass Construction and BRW Architects, as well as those who have served in the past and those who continue to serve. The opening offered an opportunity for people to meet the fire department staff and tour the new facility. Fire Chief Ray Freshour from the Thompson Fire Department remarked on how nice the facility was constructed and the integration of technology throughout the building. “We very are proud of our past,” noted Youngblood. “Leaving the old building behind was difficult, so many memories [are] attached to the old structure that stood like a Centurion at the entrance of Richmond for so many years. “However, we look forward to the future of the department and serving our citizens using the resources of the new facility.” The building was constructed by Bass Construction and the architectural design by BRW Architects. Youngblood noted the significance of the new department opening and that a new fire department hasn’t been built in 60 years. “The collaboration between the architect, contractor and city was seamless and the results are the proof,” said Youngblood. “A few delays due to some really bad weather and flooding, was the only true issue we had. We experienced a really good working relationship and utilized the Richmond Fire Marshal Albert Cantu, to help oversee the project in the city’s interest. “Having that single point of contact served as a benefit for addressing issues promptly.” Si Mendoza with Il Primo Pizza partnered with Kroger to provide refreshments for the event. City Secretary and professional photographer Laura Scarlato chronicled the experience with photos including department pictures to be displayed throughout the facility marking the occasion. The department is planning an “Open House” in early May to allow those to come by for a tour and meet the firefighters. For more about the Richmond Fire Department visit the website www.richmondtx.gov.