The official Grand Opening and Hose Uncoupling Ceremony for the new Cherokee County Fire Station #1, located at 100 Old Bascomb Court off Bells Ferry Road, was held today.
Cherokee County Fire Chief, Tim Prather, was the emcee and welcomed those who attended the event. Cherokee County Fire Chaplain, Dana McPherson, came forward to give the invocation.
Chief Prather returned to the podium to recognized several guests including members of the Cherokee County Board of Commissioners, the County Manager, representatives from the Cherokee County Chamber of Commerce and former volunteer firefighters who worked at the old Station # 1. Prather also announced that the new fire station was being dedicated to Chief Joe Carmichael and Chief Bob Nealey. Fire Station 1 began as the Oak Grove Community Volunteer Fire Department in 1973 and it would become the first combination career/volunteer fire department in Cherokee County. Carmichael and Nealey each contributed to over 20 years of service to the county fire service. Chief Carmichael was the first County Fire Chief and Chief Nealey would succeed him years later. Chief Prather thanked both chiefs for their contributions to the county and for paving the way for the fire service of today.
Chief Nealey was in attendance and was asked to come forward to say a few words. Chief Carmichael, who now lives in Tennessee, was planning on attending the event but cancelled due to health reasons.
Cherokee County Assistant Fire Chief, Eddie Robinson, came forward to give a description of the new facility. “This station has 10,710 square feet and houses a fire engine, ladder truck and a squad (ambulance). The crews have a total of 12 separate sleeping quarters and bathrooms that allow for both male and female firefighters to serve,” stated Robinson.
The new facility was designed to provide outstanding service to our citizens as well as the safety and welfare of our firefighters including folding doors in the bay where the fire engines are kept, plus, a straight line out of the sleeping quarters that allows for a rapid response when firefighters are called out. There are also features in the building like exhaust removal from the apparatus bay and separate storage and decontamination of the firefighter’s protective clothing.
After Robinson’s speech, Chief Prather directed the attendees to the front of the fire station for the unveiling of the station and dedication plaques and the cutting of the ribbon and the uncoupling of the fire hose for the official opening of Fire Station #1.
At the end of the program, attendees were invited to stay and tour the new facility and enjoy refreshments.