It’s official: Troy announces opening date, ceremony for new fire station
Published 3:00 am Wednesday, January 18, 2017
The Troy Fire Department has officially set the opening date for its new fire station on Elba Highway for January 24 with a ribbon cutting ceremony at 2 p.m.
The new fire station will be the city’s third, and Fire Chief Michael Stephens said it will be a tremendous help as his department works to fight fires in the city and county.
“It could cut response times by up to 10 minutes in some areas, being on the other side of (US 231),” Stephens said. “It will also help to lower insurance rates.”
What Stephens was talking about is the possibility that the third station will lower the fire department’s ISO (Insurance Services Office) classification from a Class 3 to a Class 2. ISO ratings are one of the factors that companies offering fire insurance take into account when setting premiums.
The new fire station also brings with it six new firefighters, who have been going through training and schooling over the past four months. That brings the total number of employees for the fire department up to 39, which will also help the department as it responds to fires both in the city and county.
As a brand new fire station, Stephens said that this is also the most state-of-the-art station in the city.
One of the biggest design improvements at the new station over the other two is the pull-through bay, Stephens said.
“Some of the hardest and most dangerous things for the guys operating that truck is backing that truck out,” Stephens said. “Every time it backs out, it has to have spotters, and it’s hard to do that on George Wallace Drive. It’s just so much safer for men for the truck to be able to pull through the station.”
The new station also features four individual bunks for the firefighters; the other two stations have one big room for all of the firefighters to sleep in.
“This is the first time the Fire Department has had individual bunk rooms, which will help with privacy,” Stephens said.
The building also was designed to automatically turn the lights on in the bunkrooms when a fire tone goes out to add an extra alert to the sleeping firemen that a call has gone out. It also has other alert systems in place for the same reason.
“We took ideas from what we didn’t like about other stations and made this one have the best of everything,” Stephens said.
The new crew has already added their new, personal touch to the station with one of the firefighters building a table with the station’s symbol and name on it.
“In the fire service, you like to make your own station unique and have names for your stations,” Stephens said “The guys thought about it and one of the guys came up with the design and set out and built it on his time. That just goes to show you the type of pride and dedication the guys in the department have in their station and for the city.”
Stephens expressed gratitude for the city officials that helped to make the addition of the fire station possible.
“We thank Mayor Reeves and the city council for all their hard work and dedication in making this come to fruition, and providing the leadership and push to get this accomplished,” Stephens said.