Fire department in Pulaski County saving money while renovating station
“It’s been a work in progress. Everything has a cost to it,” Fire Chief Leslie Sewell said.
He says if renovations can save the county money, he’s all for it.
Work to the new fire station along Highway 341 has been a little slow, but Sewell is looking forward to the finished product.
“What makes it really nice for us, or cool to us, is the fact that once we come in, we can come around to the back, raise the door, and drive right through, instead of having to back vehicles in,” Sewell said.
The 11,000 square foot structure, along with the neighboring building used to be a National Guard armory.
For the last three years, most of the county’s emergency services personnel work out of the two buildings.
“We’re doing everything we can to save money, but we’re also trying to speed this thing along as quick as we can too. It’s been a challenge,” Sewell said.
Around $1 million of SPLOST funds were set aside a few years ago, but as the unstable economy affected spending in the area, the priority to get the station complete started to take a nose dive.
Right now, firefighters work out of one building. There’s only one exit for four emergency vehicles. Sewell says it sometimes can become a traffic jam.
He adds when all of the work complete, each one of their fire engines will have their own door to go out of, to get to calls more effectively.
“It’s really going to be nice once we finish the paving, and get the concrete work in and things like that,” he said.
Once the work is done, firefighters will be able house all of the engines, both old and new.
“We’re hoping to have all of this part done, and fully have everything implemented by by the end of the year. Every time I say that, something comes up and we have to put it off for another month or two,” Sewell said.
He says debt isn’t an option, and he’ll wait however long it takes to get the facility he needs.
Sewell adds there are several sub-stations around the county that will receive a boost as well.
He says his big goal is to get insurance rates down for all residents in the county.