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City celebrates opening of Fire Station No. 3

DEMOPOLIS — Based on turnout alone, the grand opening of Fire Station No. 3 was a success. The place was packed — firefighters, families, friends and dignitaries sat side-by-side to celebrate a triumph for the city.

It was the culmination of a plan that almost wasn’t. The struggle to bring Fire Station No. 3 online stalled for several months. But for the Demopolis firefighters and the community members who attended, the wait was worth it.

Demopolis Fire Chief Ron Few was understandably proud.

“We may have held the cost down, but we did the best we could to give the city of Demopolis a fire station it deserves,” Few said.

Bringing a building online like the new fire station took a lot of work from a lot of different people, Mayor Cecil P. Williamson said.

“This is tremendous,” Williamson said. “This wasn’t done by any one person. This was truly a team effort.”

And U.S. Rep. Artur Davis — in town on a quick whistle-stop tour around Marengo County — said the firefighters deserve the best, like the new fire station.

“God didn’t bless us all with the kind of courage it takes to be a firefighter,” Davis said. “Some of us are just in politics. It takes a special kind of courage, a special kind of bravery, to do what these firefighters do.”

The fire department also paid respect to its past, dedicating the new building’s front room to former fire chief Aubrey Randall.

“I don’t know what to say,” Randall said. “It’s all a surprise to me.”

Randall was with the Demopolis Fire Department from 1955-1990.

In a final symbolic moment, the firefighters moved around the truck stationed at the firehouse and pushed it into the bay. And finally, Fire Station No. 3 felt like home.

The new fire station features a bay large enough for two fire trucks, a full kitchen and dining room, a laundry station and individual bedrooms for the firefighters stationed there.