Moving day

Published 2:09 pm Thursday, June 26, 2008

DEMOPOLIS — Everything is new. The floors shine. The lockers — the ones that aren’t empty — are neat and organized. The kitchen is spotless. And the firefighters are as happy as children at Christmas.

The city’s firefighters are understandably proud of their new fire station. It’s the third in the city, but it’s certainly No. 1 in terms of amenities and usability. Firefighters officially moved in Monday, and they were appreciative of the new facility.

“This is what a fire station is supposed to be,” Lt. James Rhone said. “In the past we have had a house or a trailer we utilized. This is a real fire station.”

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Rhone, who has been on the Demopolis force for 25 years, said the station will cut response times by as much as 50 percent to areas like French Creek.

“It was designed for the convenience of the firefighters, but it’s equipped and placed to be the most valuable to the city,” Rhone said.

Other firefighters agree that this station is head-and-shoulders above the other firefighting facilities in Demopolis.

“I like it,” said firefighter Matt Allred. “It’s really nice. The other stations aren’t true fire stations. This is what a fire station should be.”

With four separate bedrooms, two private bathrooms, one public restroom a full kitchen and a bay that can hold another fire truck, Fire Station No. 3 certainly seems to fill the needs of the firefighters and the public.

“The separate bedrooms are because we want to be able to expand and have female firefighters at some point,” said Fire Chief Ron Few.

The firefighters at station No. 3 even had their first call Monday morning. While the other stations were doing an annual ladder check, firefighters from the newest station responded to a call for a “hazard on the highway,” where they had to clean debris left by a passing 18-wheeler.

And yet another reason to like Fire Station No. 3 was voiced by Aaron Allred, twin brother to Matt.

“We don’t have to worry about anything breaking for awhile,” he said.

The city holds a grand opening ceremony for the fire station July 3 at 2 p.m.