Interim Fire Chief Troy Spence explained aspects of the safe room during the tour. Every part of the station, except for the bay area that houses the fire trucks, is built to safe room standards. These areas will be open to the public in severe situations such as tornado warnings.
Guidelines on how the safe rooms will operate have been developed. The guidelines will be emailed to Fire Board members for review before being presented to the Bradley County Commission for approval.
The Minnis Road station is complete except for the need to change some locks to the building. The other two new stations are also nearing completion.
Spence said the Hopewell station is complete except for the installation of the grinder pump for the sewage system. The Waterville station will be complete next week.
A ribbon cutting for the three stations will be held June 28 at 10 a.m. at the Hopewell station on Georgetown Road. All three new stations will be open for the public to tour that day from noon until 4 p.m.
Committee member Ed Elkins expressed concerns about water runoff at the Hopewell location.
“That’s an awfully small retention pond there,” Elkins said.
He suggested having county engineer Sandra Knight look at it. Spence will follow up with Knight.
The plan is to have support staff from the department oversee the management of the safe room in an emergency.
Fire engines ordered for the new stations are complete and all of them have been picked up, according to Spence.
Spence said there is a final meeting with the Cleveland Fire Department and Bradley County 911 scheduled to discuss how emergency calls will be handled.
The Cleveland Fire Department is replacing 60 air packs. Spence said Bradley County Fire-Rescue is looking to purchase the used air packs. He said the equipment could be used for a few more years with less expense than purchasing the equipment new.
“We are going to take them in and test them ourselves. We’ll know if there are any issues, and if there are we will have them repaired,” Spence said.
Spence said the packs will help boost Fire-Rescue’s ISO rating. This rating is used as a way to rate fire coverage. New air packs cost an average of $7,000 each. Bradley County Fire-Rescue is expected to have an ISO inspection in October.
Spence said the department is growing and there are now 90 active volunteers in addition to the full-time firefighters.