Tom Smart, Deseret News
Fireman Mike Diamond washes the parking lot at Lindon's fire station. The city held an open house Tuesday to give residents a chance to meet the firefighters.

LINDON — With a bright red firetruck and shiny new police cars cruising through Lindon, residents said they're beginning to feel like their little city is finally growing up.

"We're excited to see a firetruck based in the city," said Tresa Hamson, who came with her husband, David, and four children to the Lindon Fire Station open house Tuesday night. Tuesday was also the first day that Lindon's new police force began patrolling the streets.

Living just three blocks away from the new fire station, the Hamsons hope to never need fire services, but appreciate the benefit it brings to the area.

"It makes a difference in insurance," David Hamson said. "Several companies wouldn't insure the house because (a fire station) was so far away. Now the trucks are in the city."

The open house was a chance for Lindon residents to meet the Orem employees, get free hot dogs and chips, and scope out the renovated fire station and equipment.

Ryker Adamson, 6, tried on an Orem fireman's pants, boots and jacket, nearly drowning in the heavy, fire-retardant gear.

His dad, Dustin, snapped pictures with his cell-phone camera.

"I guess for me, it's a faster response time," Dustin Adamson said when asked about the benefits of the new station. His family lives in east Lindon, near the mountains on Canal Drive, where lightning strikes are common, he said.

"Plus, it's just the comfort factor," he said. "It complements Lindon City. (We have) police and now the fire department. It's a sign of the times, Lindon's growing."

Although the station is in Lindon, the fire and emergency medical services are being provided by Orem officers — a change from Pleasant Grove services, which had been in place for nearly 25 years.

The decision to switch was a tough one and involved many emotional city council meetings and discussions. But in the end, it came down to quicker response times and what was best for the growing city.

"We're so excited," said Lindon Police Chief Cody Cullimore. "It's gonna be a good partnership."

Cullimore said they will evaluate the $1.2 million partnership with Orem at the end of this year, at the end of three years, then every five years for 25 years.

"Orem looks at it as a tremendous partnership," said Orem Fire Chief Scott Gurney. "It's a win-win type of situation."

That's because the new Lindon station means north Orem residents will also see quicker response times.

Officers from the station at 25 W. 60 North will respond to emergencies along the northeast quadrant in Orem — a long haul from Orem stations. Orem stations will return the favor by responding to western Lindon. Timing is also especially fortuitous, as Orem's Station 2 is closed for seismic upgrades. Those employees were swapped over to Lindon's station.

"It's about time," said Koby Andersen, who sat on the lawn while his children munched on free food. He said he doesn't expect to see an immediate difference with the fire station, but appreciates "getting people closer to home, serving you."

Right now, the two-bay station contains no living quarters. Instead, the 15 firefighters on three shifts — one captain, one engineer and three paramedic-trained firefighters — will live in a home next door owned by the city.

Within three to five years, Lindon plans to build a larger fire station across from the City Center. The city owns the parking lot currently used by a car dealership.

"I think it just (shows) we're starting to grow," said Cheryl Stewart. "It's nice to see (Lindon) standing on its own."

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