The ceremonial ribbon will be snipped on Thursday, officially opening the new home of the Wadesboro Fire Department.
The new station has been operational since February, according to Fire Chief Marc Sessions, and it wasn’t 30 minutes before firefighters received their first call.
“We hadn’t really gotten in good,” he said.
The 10,576 square-foot building is “phenomenally better” than the previous station next door, Sessions said. At one time, it housed both the fire and police departments.
It’s “the little things” — like space — that make all the difference to Sessions.
Before, they would have to wash trucks and other equipment out in the street. Now there is space both inside and outside the facility to get things done.
The new station features four “double-deep” bays to provide parking for eight vehicles. The bay doors are about 18 feet high and 14 feet wide — large enough to fit the department’s “new” used truck, which would not fit in the aging station — and facing Morgan Street, making leaving for emergency calls safer than pulling out onto Washington Street.
“It’ll be a whole lot easier than what we do now,” Fire Marshal Scott Martin told the Anson Record last July , explaining that trucks at the new station will be out of the building and onto a concrete pad before pulling out onto the road. “That way, we won’t be pulling out blind.”
Aside from the bays, there is: a tool room where firefighters can work on equipment; a workout room with various exercise equipment to keep the firefighters in shape; a full kitchen and dining room; and four offices.
There is also meeting room — which should hold more than 100 people — where they can hold educational workshops for the community, including day care workers and industrial fire extinguisher training.
Prior to the new facility, Martin said, they had to go off-site to meet with the various groups, loading up equipment and fire-prevention materials to carry over to the location. Those materials, Sessions added, were spread across different locations. Now everything can be set up within a matter of minutes.
Sessions said there have been five training events since the station opened, with firefighters coming from other departments outside Anson County to take part.
Work began on the station in March of last year, but progress was delayed throughout the spring and early summer due to wet weather.
Former Town Manager Alex Sewell said last summer that he hoped the project would be finished by December. However, current interim Town Manager Ray Allen said, aside from some minor landscaping, the majority of construction was completed in February.
A new building was discussed for quite sometime before the Wadesboro Town Council bit the bullet to construct the new station.
The project was budgeted for $1,261,390. So far, according to Allen, the town has spent about $1,238,000. After a few other minor expenses, whatever is left over will go back into the town’s general fund, Allen said.
Sessions said some of the work was done in-house to save the town money.
He added that most of the contractors, including the electrician, were based in Anson County to keep the money in the community. Although the general contractor, MCT, is based out of Monroe, the principle owner lives in Peachland, Sessions said.
The chief expressed his gratitude to the residents of Wadesboro, both town managers and the mayor and town council for supporting the project and helping “to make this a reality.”
“We’ve shown the need and they stepped up,” he said.
The ceremony will begin Thursday at 4 p.m. with remarks and a ribbon cutting, followed by an open house and refreshments. The public is invited to attend.
The new Wadesboro Fire Department will host an open house following a ribbon cutting Thursday afternoon.