County has a new fire station

Published 12:00 pm Friday, April 8, 2016

Lafayette County officials are excited about increasing the county’s emergency services coverage with a new fire station on Highway 30 about to go into operation.

Fire Coordinator Jerry Johnson and county emergency first responders spent the day Thursday making sure fire station No. 2 is fully equipped before it goes into service, likely next week.

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“We are real excited,” Johnson said. “It will be a great functional station for the next 30 or 40 years, we hope.”

Johnson said the station is planned with the future in mind and has the capability to be a manned station.

“It’s not just a place to house fire trucks,” Johnson said. “We hope the community comes and takes a look. We’re proud of it.”

The fire station, which took nearly six months to complete and cost almost $400,000, is similar to the fire station located on County Road 109 and Highway 6. It brings the total number of fire stations in the county to 14. Heritage Builders in Oxford did the construction.

The fire station has three bays and contains a 1995 1,200-gallon tanker truck and a 2007 1,000-gallon pumper truck.

Johnson said there are “no frills” with the station, which includes living quarters, a small kitchen, bathroom with showers and a storage area.

“We wanted an operational station and that’s what we’ve got,” Johnson said.

The need for another fire station, which replaces the old No. 2 fire station, is evident by the number of calls county crews respond to, as well as the obvious growth that is occurring in the county.

Earlier this week, county fire coordinator Wes Anderson told the board of supervisors the volume of emergency calls continues to rise.

According to Anderson there have been 205 calls from October of last year to April 1 of this year, a slight increase from a year ago.

During that period there were 15 structure fires, two mobile homes, nine automobile extrications, 55 grass and woods fires, 15 vehicle fires and the rest of the calls were a combination of gas leaks and false alarms.

“Compared to the same time frame as last year, we’re about 20 calls a head of pace,” Anderson said.

First responders also installed nearly two dozen smoke detectors during that six month period and visited with more than 600 children during Fire Prevention Month last October.

Anderson added that fundraising letter for the county fire department is being mailed out this month to residents.

“So if folks get any calls, it’s not a scam,” Anderson said. “It’s that time of year for us to raise a little extra money.”

But the biggest project that has been taking place is the construction of fire station No. 2, according to Anderson.

A dedication ceremony is scheduled for April 28 at 7 p.m.