With a move to their new facility on Gillsville Highway, the firefighters of Hall County Station 1 have more space and are closer to where a majority of their calls originate.
County officials said the total cost for the station was $2.8 million from SPLOST VII, the special-purpose local option sales tax.
The new station has nearly double the space of its predecessor, growing from 4,968 square feet to 9,000 square feet.
“To me it’s kind of like staying at a Marriott compared to like an America’s Best Value Inn,” firefighter Andrew Whitfield said. “It’s a lot bigger.”
Station No. 1 will house the same six fire personnel from the previous fire station.
The county will hold a grand opening ceremony for the new station, located at 3126 Gillsville Highway, from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Dec. 11, which is open to the public. The ceremony will also be shown virtually at hallcounty.org.
The previous Station 1 on Athens Highway was built in 1973 along a now-busy highway corridor.
EMS Division Chief Christie Grice said one of the benefits of the new station is less traffic.
“You had highway speed traffic coming at you in both directions, (so) this is a big advantage,” Grice said.
The firefighters will have individual bunks instead of a military-style bunk room.
County spokeswoman Katie Crumley previously told The Times the station “includes a vastly improved mechanical/ventilation system that acts to prevent any carcinogens first responders may encounter on calls from migrating or accumulating in other areas of the station.”
There is also a ventilated room specifically to store the station’s firefighting gear.
Crumley also said there is potential for an improved ISO insurance rating for nearby residents.