A grand opening and ribbon-cutting ceremony was held on Wednesday, December 30, to celebrate Banks County’s newest fire station, Fire and EMS Station No. 25, which will serve the north end of the county and its surrounding communities.
“Fire Station No. 25 will be our full-time station and will give us better and quicker coverage in the Baldwin and Alto area," fire chief Steve Nichols stated. "Our old fire station, three miles down the road, will now serve as a volunteer station."
Charles Turk, chairman of Banks County Board of Commissioners (BOC), said the new station is a big improvement from their old station which they have outgrown.
The newly built 7,200-square foot fire station is complete with sleeping quarters that include six bunk rooms, showers, a meeting room, a kitchen and a second story storage space that stretches the length of the left half of the facility. The fire station will also house room for a ladder truck, two engines and two med units.
Turk said there is also a chance that the facility will operate as a voting precinct for the county.
“We are really proud of this fire station,” said Turk. “I think it’s probably one of the best ones in Georgia for the money. It’s a well-built station in a beautiful location overlooking the mountains.”
Banks County’s new fire station is a redesign of Savannah Fire Department in N.C.
The property was donated by Brian Whittenton of Grace Point Community Center. DCI Metals in Gainesville erected the metal siding panels of the building, Griffin Brothers and S&D Solutions were in charge of grading the property and Kenny Crumley and his support crew are the contractors of the project, which has been several years in the making.
The building was SPLOST-funded and the total cost of the project was $600,000, however, the insurance appraisal assessed the building alone at $1 million.
Turk expressed appreciation to all those who helped make the project a reality and thanked taxpayers for their support in voting in the SPLOST to build the fire station that will help serve and protect the community.
The finishing touch that will be added to Station 25 is an American flag and flagpole donated by The Woodman of the World.
“The flagpole is coming eventually but the Woodmen of the World were not able to donate one at this time because of restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” Turk said.
According to Fire Chief Steve Nichols, the station is expected to be staffed and in full operation in about two weeks although the station’s equipment can still be utilized in the meantime.