Time is of the essence in responding to structure fires. That's why the Lowndes County commission has been moving forward with plans to upgrade its current volunteer force with paid employees.
But this may be the most important step as the county breaks ground on a new firehouse, strategically located for quicker response times.
Joyce Evans, Lowndes County Commissioner, says, "It’s a great geographic location. We're a short drive from the town of Naylor and a short drive from downtown Valdosta and this can serve the entire area."
Commissioner Evans and county Fire Chief Jim Fielding are both excited that the plans call for a new firefighter training center.
Jim Fielding says, ”We’re gonna have a state of the art training facility when we get through. It’s gonna take us better than five years to get it because the station, the headquarters will be the first phase."
Leaders say this is the kind of pro-active step that needs to take place to keep metro Valdosta attractive to incoming industries.
Evans adds, "As we continue to bring industry in, and to work on our economic development that's important because businesses want to know, where's the fire protection?"
County planners say it will be very close to some of the fastest growing parts of Lowndes County once this facility is completed. The first phase of the new fire station should be completed in a year, while the training center will take a few more years.
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