Barton had just finished an extensive renovation of his 44,000-square-foot store this summer when he learned that the nearby Good-Will Fire Department was searching for temporary quarters. To comply with GM requirements, part of Barton's project involved moving the service lane next to the showroom from an adjacent building that houses the service bays.
That meant Barton suddenly had a long corridor with a high ceiling and big overhead doors on both ends available, and no immediate plans to reuse it.
"We tried some other places to see if they would let us use their facility, but Mr. Barton offered it up to us to use free of charge until we have a new firehouse," said Good-Will Fire Chief Ray VanInwegen. "He's been very nice. He just said, "Use my building as long as you need it.'"
Good-Will's 48 firefighters are volunteers, so they work elsewhere during the day and don't sleep on-site. The department is using the dealership building as a base for two engines, a heavy rescue vehicle and two municipal vehicles, all lined up end to end, VanInwegen said.
The department, which covers an area in the Hudson Valley about 60 miles north of New York City, handles about 200 calls a year, so the arrangement doesn't constantly create extra commotion.
"They understand when they see a bunch of us running in, and they tell everybody to stand back," VanInwegen said. "We're managing. We're covering calls just like normal."