The official Grand Opening and Hose Uncoupling Ceremony for the new Fire Station #3, located at 270 Crown Avenue in Canton, Georgia, was held today.
Field Operations Chief, Greg Erdely, was the emcee and welcomed those who attended the event. Cherokee County Fire Chaplain, Johnny Weaver, came forward to give the invocation. Weaver was also the first Fire Chief for the Hickory Flat Volunteer Fire Department when the original Station 3 was constructed in 1976. The Cherokee County Fire Honor Guard presented the colors and students from Indian Knoll Elementary School sang the National Anthem.
Sgt. Michael Sims came forward to give an overview of the new 9,000 square foot fire station. “The new station offers numerous benefits to our citizens and to the firefighters of Cherokee County. Recent studies indicate that the average cost of a new fire station in metro Atlanta is approximately $325 per square. The new Fire Station #3 was built for only $200 per square foot. The apparatus bay has bi-fold doors that open quickly for response to emergencies and cost less money to maintain than traditional overhead doors. The epoxy floors are textured for safety and easily cleaned to prevent cross contamination of infectious diseases. The new station has negative pressure ventilation to remove dangerous gasses and carcinogens from this area before they have time to settle or enter the living area. The turnout gear room and extractor room isolates potentially dangerous carcinogens from spreading through the fire station’s living areas.”
Another important addition to the new station is an exercise room, which allows firefighters to condition and prepare their bodies for the physical demands that come with this profession without having to leave their station.
Cherokee County Fire Chief, Tim Prather, thanked the City of Holly Springs for their assistance for acquiring the land for the new fire station. Other speakers included District 2 Commissioner and former Cherokee County Fire Chief, Raymond Gunnin, who thank the original members of the Hickory Flat Volunteer Fire Department for seeing the need to have fire service in that area back in the mid 70’s. Holly Springs Mayor, Steve Miller and Chairman of the Cherokee County Board of Commissioners, “Buzz” Ahrens, also addressed the crowd.
Sgt. Cheri Collett came forward to play a selection on the bagpipes.
One of the highlights of the event came when Cherokee County Fire Chief, Tim Prather, returned to the podium to make a special presentation. Prather invited Larry Berry to come forward and thanked him for his 40 years of service to the Hickory Flat community and as Fire Chief of Hickory Flat Volunteer Fire Department. The Chief and Berry went to the front of the station and unveiled a plaque recognizing him for his loyalty and service to the fire department.
At the end of the program, attendees were invited to stay and enjoy refreshments.