New Gantt station to benefit local community; open house planned

Published 2:26 am Saturday, October 1, 2016

Gantt Fire Chief Scott Fight and Kelley Carter stand outside of the new fire station.  Kendra Majors/Star-News

Gantt Fire Chief Scott Fight and Kelley Carter stand outside of the new fire station.
Kendra Majors/Star-News

After years of hard work and dedication to the project, the second Gantt Fire station is up and running and fire fighters are inviting locals to come see the new addition to the fire department later this month.

Chief Scott Fight said they have been using the station since April 2, when they pulled in a truck, but are now planning an open house event and hope that locals attend so they can show their appreciation.

“This station was part of our five-year plan,” he said.

The department has the fourth largest service territory in the county.

Fight said adding the new station is helpful, with the size of the territory, especially with the river cutting through the area.

“It has benefitted us,” he said. “It has cut down on our response time.”

In fact, they have only used the old station once since opening the new station, he said.

“We are able to be here in minutes,” he said. “And everything that happened has been around here. We have cut our response to half or more.”

Fight said the way they determine which station to use is dependent upon which station is closest to the fire fighter available to respond, as they have trucks at both locations.

“Most of all of our members live around here,” he said of the Pier 7 Road location. “Now we don’t have to drive all the way to town. It’s been a win-win.”

The fire department has been able to improve the ISO rating to 5.

“It helps with insurance,” Fight said. “We are the only volunteer station with two stations.”

They broke ground on the new station in April 2015, and members of the fire department built and finished the building.

The only thing they hired out was sheetrock work.

“We are totally green, too,” Fight said. “Everything we have is LED and our light bill runs somewhere around the same as the station in town and we have an air conditioner here.”

Building the new station is something Fight said they couldn’t have done without donations from the public.

A good portion of the money they get comes from donations on the power bill, but they also get some 3 mill property tax money. They also conduct boot drives and other fundraisers, but Fight said they are doing all of this for the community.

“This new station is equipped well,” he said. “If we have some kind of disaster, we have a generator big enough to run. The fire department can serve as a refuge. It has showers and washer and dryer connections.”

In addition to helping the community, the new station is equipped with a full computer training system.

“We have a bigger training area, as well,” he said. “We also have a fitness center for our members. It’s a real nice system with treadmills and free weights.”

There are 16 members on the fire department and there’s always a need for more, Fight said.

To say, “thank you,” the department is inviting the community to the new station on Oct. 15, from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m.

Life Flight will be there.

Bouncy house and dunking booths will be on hand.

There will be free food and door prizes and they are raffling off a Yeti Cooler, 30- ounce and 20-ounce Yeti cups.

“Anyone who wants to come out can,” Fight said. “We appreciate the donations.”

The donations have also allowed the fire department to purchase GPS for each truck, and allowed them to ping their fire hydrants for easier access.

Anyone interested in purchasing a raffle ticket may call Fight at 488-2110.