It has been months since construction started on a new fire station in Houston County. Now, it's opening to the public Monday.
The two new fire trucks they got are nice, but the inside of the new 24-hour fire station is even nicer. Inside, the $1.5 million station includes four bedrooms for firefighters with restrooms and showers, office space, and living quarters, including a kitchen.
"You spend a third of your life here, so we try to make it a little more 'homely' on that portion,” says County Fire Chief Jimmy Williams.
He says before the fire station was built, the closest station to Kathleen was more than 5 miles away. Chief Williams hopes the new station will entice more businesses to move in.
"It enhances our coverage to the residents in this location, but we're also in the middle of our industrial complex, so hopefully this will entice industry to come in and us be able to develop our tax base here and provide good service to our constituents,” explains Williams.
One of the subdivisions closest to the new station is Lea Glen. Chief Williams says the new and closer addition could lower insurance for homeowners nearby.
"This new one coming on-site is closer and we really look forward. The insurance companies probably won't enjoy it, but us homeowners will,” says homeowner Bubba Ragan.
He says years ago, a fire started at a home in his neighborhood. Ragan says now the response time will improve.
"With the addition, Houston County will continue to grow and be the lead in the Middle Georgia area,” says Ragan.
It's an addition some people say has been long overdue. Chief Williams says the fire station started taking calls on July 18, 2017. He says the first day, they got over 4 calls, showing the need in that location. The fire station also includes an Emergency Medical Services department.