Officials in Lowndes County say there's a burning need for a new fire station to better serve the growing area. The county is now building a new station on an acre of land that was donated to them. County officials say it's a prime location on a major highway and that will provide a faster emergency response.
"This way the station will be right on Bemiss Road. We can head north or south to any motor vehicle accident or anyone needing the fire department. It’s very important. It's unique that a county department would have a station directly on a main road," said Chief Jim Fielding.
The county says the existing firehouse is in a state of disrepair. The new firehouse will be 4,000 square feet costing $400,000. It will be the first of its kind in Lowndes County.
"It's gonna be great. It will have three drive-through bays. It's gonna have a classroom, day room, crew quarters, kitchen, rest rooms. It's something that Lowndes has never had," said Fielding.
Residents in the area say having a new firehouse nearby will make them feel more secure.
"It gives me a greater sense of ease. There will be ambulance and emergency response nearby, so if one of my children gets hurt, they'll be right there," says Roy McLaughlin, a local homeowner.
"It makes my parents and other parents feel good that there's a firehouse right across from the school and it can't get any better than that. It's excellent,” says Jonathan Igou.
The new fire station will be completed in March. The county is hoping it will be the prototype for other stations in the area. The county says that by putting more stations closer together, it will continue to lower insurance rates, which for homeowners means saving money on their insurance premiums.