FORSYTH, Georgia(41NBC/WMGT) – Monroe County Commissioners approved to build and fund a new Monroe County EMS headquarters station Tuesday morning. They voted 3 to 1.
“This agency and this county needed this for several years now,” said EMS director, Chief Donny Mercer. “I look at it right now as an immediate need for both our employees and our citizens.””
Especially with the condition the current headquarters is now.
“It’s aged, things are falling apart, the rats are chewing through the walls,” said EMS Public Information Officer, Captain Shane Cook.
That’s only the beginning.
“We call this our sick building,” said Chief Mercer. “You can bring folks in here and over a short period of time they’ll start sneezing and coughing and hacking.”
“From the time that I was stationed here,” said Captain Cook. “I actually have used more sick time being stationed at this station than I have in any other stations.”
Despite all the upkeep and cleaning the firefighters do it’s just not enough. Four firefighters currently stay at the headquarters and all share one bathroom. With the new station that will change.
“I think having more than just one shower for four to five guys to fight over, obviously will help with that,” said Captain Cook. “Having a larger living condition of course where everything’s not so cramped.”
The new facility will be ten times larger than the current station. The lot is already cleared for the 12,000 square foot building off Juliette Road. It’s only a minute away from the interstate.
“The firefighters and paramedics, they definitely appreciate the commissioners and the citizens looking out for us, so we can look out for them,” said Captain Cook.
The $650,000 SPLOST project is expected to take about 18 months to complete. The EMS department isn’t wasting any time either, they’ll start construction Wednesday morning. Firefighters and the department of corrections will be working on the building instead of paying workers.