The board also voted to locate the station on the south side of the property, and to make this station a priority among the three proposed stations.
The motions were made by board member Briant Berry.
“My mind on that is we have 14,000 homes that we can give them better coverage ... I know it’s only going to be three or four months ... but that’s three or four months that could save a home,” Berry said
Bradley County Fire Chief Dewey Woody said he did not have a preference which fire station was completed first, but that Berry’s reasoning made sense.
The site is on Minnis Road near Highway 64.
Bradley County engineer Sandra Knight presented the board with estimated costs for site work at the proposed locations of the new fire stations.
“The Minnis Road site — were looking at probably (around) $40,000. Mainly, its going to be just moving dirt around,” Knight said.
According to Knight, there were already plans in the works to move back a dirt bank on the property because a resident was having trouble seeing to safely get out of the property’s driveway.
A location for the Waterville site was not formally approved.
“Ballpark figures estimating the site work that would be required for those: The Waterville training center would be about $30,000. If you put it down at the new Waterville school it would be about $55,000,” Knight said.
Board member Louie Alford wanted the soil tested at the training center site, before a decision was made. The board passed a motion requesting a soil test on the site. This site is currently being used as a training center, and was the location of the old Waterville school.
The presence of a creek increases the site preparation work at the Waterville school location.
Also during the meeting, Woody presented the board with information about the department’s new recognition program. The program gives supervisors a way to recognize those who go above and beyond the call of duty. Woody said while the department has had awards in the past, there has never been a program that allows recognition on a regular basis. Previously, awards were only given on a yearly basis. The new program does not replace these awards, but merely expands the recognition possible.
Bradley County Fire Rescue is also changing its Rookie School training to be a state-recognized program. The new program will require 480 hours of instruction, but allow individuals to test for Firefighter I classification sooner. The fire chief also presented specifications for the fire trucks and tankers the department plans to purchase. The vehicles have not yet gone to bid. Fire board member Ed Elkins asked if there was a way the department could partner with others in the state to get a better deal for purchasing a large number of vehicles. Woody said these vehicles are specialized for each department, and finding one looking to purchase the same thing would be difficult.