The new facility, a project that was initiated in April of last year, was constructed on the site of the former fire station that was built n 1967. Construction began on Feb. 8.
“It was outdated,” Fulton County Fire Chief Larry Few said. “It was a drab building with very poor lighting. Its usefulness had expired, and it needed to be updated.”
The new facility has upgrades such as such as a community room, which will be open to the community to host meetings in, as well as exercise and training rooms and a commercial style kitchen area.
Another notable upgrade, according to Few, is the sleeping quarters.
The new sleeping quarters are compartmentalized, quite a departure from the setup in the past.
“It was a communal style facility,” Few said. “In other words, it was just a big room for firefighters to sleep. There was no attention paid to gender. We now know you have to pay attention to those types of things.”
Few said aspects such as the kitchen and exercise areas will be particularly beneficial to the firefighters health-wise.
The exercise room will encourage firefighters to stay fit and active and the kitchen to eat a healthier, balanced diet, said Few.
“In the fire service, a lot of firefighters have heart disease and high blood pressure so we wanted to do something that would have an impact on that,” he said.
Additionally the updated facility will have a bearing on response times for incidents in the community.
“I think [the updated facility] will enhance our ability to respond quickly to mitigate a fire emergency, Hazmat hazard or a medical emergency,” he said. “In the old station the equipment had a tendency to drag. We have easy access coming out of the bay to Fulton Industrial Boulevard. There is no more alternate maneuvering to be necessary to clear.”
Fire Station No. 11 is a $2.6 million facility, financed through a low interest American Recovery and Reinvestment Act Bond.
Few said the bond will be repaid through the South Fulton tax district fund.
The grand opening of the fire station is today from 10 a.m. to noon.
Fire Station No. 11 is at 4760 Industrial Blvd. in Atlanta.