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Bryan County dedicates new fire station

POSTED: June 9, 2017 11:29 a.m.
Ted O'Neil/

Bryan County Emergency Services Chief Freddy Howell, center, and other members of the department perform a 'hose uncoupling' at the dedication of the new Fire Station No. 2 Friday. The ceremony is traditional among firefighters and similar to a ribbon cutting in the business world.

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Bryan County Emergency Services dedicated its new Fire Station No. 2 Friday morning on Daniel Siding Loop Road.

The new station, located next door to the old one, is the busiest in the county based on the annual number of calls it responds to.

“This is a great day for us,” BCES Chief Freddy Howell told the crowd. “We’re pretty excited and this is long overdue.”

The new structure features a living room and kitchen area, laundry room, four bedrooms, two full bathrooms and two pull-through garage bays.

“To many this is just a fire station, but to the men and women who work here, this is home,” Howell said. “They spend a third of their lives in this house and they deserve a place where they can relax and be comfortable.”

The old Fire Station No. 2, some three decades old, will become a maintenance garage for BCES.

“We’ll be able to pull fire trucks and ambulances in there and change the oil, make minor repairs,” Howell said. “It will be more convenient than having to take them all to the north end like we do now.”

The station is modeled after Fire Station No. 10, which is located at Water Ways Township.

“It’s just like when you build a house and there are things you wish you’d done a little differently,” Howell said. “So we took the plans for Station 10 and tweaked them a bit.”

Howell said he was grateful to county officials who saw the need for the new station.

“We have a county administrator in Ben Taylor who really supports public safety,” Howell said. “He and the commissioners agreed when we went to them with this request.”

Commissioners approved the new station in September 2016 at a cost of $395,000 using SPLOST funds. Commissioners in May of this year also approved spending $487,000 on two new fire trucks.

There also is a playground next to the station and county officials have discussed adding a basketball court, too.

“This is a safe haven for kids in this neighborhood,” Howell said. “They know if they ever need help they can come here.”

When the dedication began, there were two connected fire hoses strung across the open bays.

“In the business world, you hold a ribbon cutting when you open,” Howell explained. “The tradition for fire stations is to do a hose uncoupling.” 

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