Park View Station 11 is up and running, and residents in the area of the station will be hearing sirens more often, as responses occur frequently to locations within its district.
Located at 365 Minnis Road, the station is strategically located and will cover northeastern and southeastern portions of Bradley County, as well as the community where it is located.
According to interim BCFR Chief Troy Spence, a response time of 5 to 7 minutes is possible to any location in the three new respective fire stations’ districts, once all are up and running.
“A crew of four firefighters spent the first night there Friday,” Spence said.
He had planned to man the station Saturday but plans changed and the crew was able to place the station into service earlier.
Lt. Corey Davis, engineer Jerrod Hamm and firefighters Campbell Mitchell and Christian Pierce were the first to call the station their new work home.
According to Bradley County Mayor D. Gary Davis, BCFR will be responsible for protection to all county residents.
“Bradley County Fire-Rescue will soon assume responsibility for fire protection for all Bradley County residents who live outside the Cleveland city limits. An important step toward achieving this goal took place in 2011 when the County Commission approved the 10 year fire protection growth plan,” Davis said.
New firefighters are in place and continue training daily.
“This is nothing new. Firefighters train all the time to learn more and keep up their skill level. BCFR maintains a great training ethic in all areas, including rescue,” said Spence.
Bradley County has 63 full-time paid fire personnel and 74 volunteers who also must complete fire training such as the full-timers, according to Spence.
The volunteers are spaced throughout the county and can respond with the paid firefighters to virtually any incident.
“These volunteers play a vital role in the overall fire protection in Bradley County,” Davis said.
“Five of the stations will be staffed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week with full-time, paid firefighters. The remaining eight stations will be manned by volunteers,” Davis added.
New equipment such as three new custom-built tankers are due to be delivered at the end of April. Three new engines will be able to pump up to 1,500 gallons of water per minute.
Spence has traveled to Florida this week to arrange pickup of some of the new equipment.
Trucks will be outfitted with radios and other amenities used in the fire and rescue services provided by BCFR.
Amenities of the three new fire stations include a safe room which was included in case of tornadoes or other emergency situations.
“Each fire hall can accommodate up to 400 people and withstand 200 mph winds. They are equipped with their own backup emergency generators and the FEMA-approved buildings will be a temporary safe haven for residents when needed,” Davis said.
“We’ve come a long way since the early ’90s when Bradley County leaders set a goal of providing good countywide fire protection," said Davis. "The new Minnis Road fire hall was released by the contractor to the county last Friday. The Hopewell facility is due to be released by May 13 and the Dalton Pike station should be complete by May 30,” Davis explained.
The fringe area of five miles from the city limits of Cleveland has been protected by Cleveland Fire Department since 1993, according to Davis. Rural protection was provided by BCFR.
The county/city contract will expire and at 8 a.m. on July 1, all fire protection in the county will be covered by BCFR.
Spence said volunteers are still needed in specialized fields such as technical areas in water rescue or recovery operations, first response, extrication, collapse rescue and confined space rescue.
For additional information, visit www.bradleyco.net and click on the fire department link.