OPELIKA, AL (WTVM) - Opelika is celebrating the opening of a brand new, state-of-the-art, $1.7 million fire station, and News Leader 9 is taking you inside Fire Station #3 for a tour.
Thursday morning's ribbon cutting signified an important public safety step for Opelika. Fire Station #3, located off Oak Bower Road, is ready to serve the north side of the city.
"Every second counts when you are in a fire in terms of structure damage and saving lives a few seconds can mean the difference between us getting someone out or us having a fire casualty."
The new station was a critical step as the city works to retain its ISO or Insurance Services Office rating when response times started slipping as the city grew.
"They will give us an opportunity to make some improvements before they change the rating and we are doing everything we possibly can to keep the rating a 2," said Opelika Mayor Gary Fuller.
"That's very important for our fire insurance costs not only for our residential folks but for our industries."
There has been some controversy surrounding this fire house, because it is located near residential homes and several neighborhoods. Homeowners were concerned about the noise from fire trucks and alarm systems. Fire Station #3 is a quiet house; in other words, alarms won't sound until fire trucks and other first responders are on Oak Bowery Road.
The 6,000 square foot facility is a 2-bay fire station with five sleeping rooms, a kitchen and living area.
Fire Station #3 will be fully operational and running calls sometime around January 10.