People who live in Ivy and along the Route 29 North corridor in Albemarle County can expect faster emergency response times.
The new Ivy Fire Rescue station opened about a week ago and the sirens are already going off several times a day. Fire fighters say Ivy desperately needed the new station - it's one of the most densely populated rural areas in the county.
They say the goal is to provide fire rescue services and do it as fast as possible.
Chief Dan Eggleston says there has been a lack of fire protection in Ivy for years.
"It's been very busy, of course 29 and 250 and areas have been responding to all kinds of calls, fire alarm activations, automobile accidents, medical calls," said Eggleston said.
The project, which cost about $2 million, was funded mostly by the University of Virginia Health System. The new fire truck alone cost about $850,000 with the gear. Some of that gear is credited for putting out fires at a faster rate.
An atypical fire hose uses air foam technology. Not only is foam good to rely on in rural areas where there's not a lot of water to depend on, but it's also much lighter than water and makes the fire hose easier to handle.
EMS in the busy Route 29 North corridor area now has expanded to a 24-hours-a-day service.
Albemarle County spokesperson Lee Catlin says the county is confident the new rescue services will improve emergency response teams.
"We're able to have people in place who can get more quickly to the incidents where they're needed," Catlin said.
The station is equipped with a kitchen, sleeping quarters, a fitness room and a dayroom. It's inside what was once a warehouse, now owned by UVA.
The fire chief says the station is still looking for additional volunteer fire fighters. The next fire academy starts September 1.
They plan to have a grand opening for the station later this summer.
Albemarle County MEDIA RELEASE
COUNTY ANNOUNCES EXPANDED FIRE RESCUE SYSTEM SERVICES BEGINNING JULY 1
On July 1, Albemarle's Fire Rescue System implemented two major new initiatives that will result in a higher level of public safety services for the County - a new fire rescue station in Ivy area and the expansion of emergency medical services (EMS) along the Route 29 North Corridor.
The new Ivy Fire Rescue Station began operations on July 1 to provide fire and EMS to areas of the County just west of Charlottesville and to support the fire rescue system generally throughout the County.
Service is being provided from a 24 hour-a-day, 7 day-a-week staffed fire engine and a daytime staffed ambulance with personnel trained to handle all hazards including fires, auto accidents, hazardous conditions, and advanced emergency medical procedures (Advanced Life Support or ALS). The personnel will be made up of a mix of career and volunteer service providers not unlike other fire and EMS stations throughout the County.
The Ivy Station is situated within a portion of an existing warehouse building, owned by the University of Virginia, in accordance with a long-term lease. The station is approximately 5800 GSF which includes two full size apparatus bays. The station has a kitchen/day-room, operations office, fitness room and sleeping quarters. In addition, support space is provided for a mechanical room, disinfectant room, gear storage and a backup generator.
The station will address service needs in Ivy, the County's most densely populated rural area and will support the County's Land Use policy by providing a higher level of fire rescue services in the development area west of the City.
The new station and services have already been welcomed in the Ivy community with many partners making generous contributions to offset the cost of the facility including the following examples:
The University of Virginia is a significant partner in this endeavor and a large portion of the site work costs has been supported by the University of Virginia Health System.
Various electronic and audiovisual equipment were made possible by a generous contribution from CRUTCHFIELD
Fitness equipment made possible by a Department of Homeland Security Assistance to Firefighters Grant
Various furnishing were made possible by generous support from Comcast and Bed Bath & Beyond.
Also on July 1, EMS will be enhanced in the busy Route 29 North corridor area with the expansion of the current daytime ambulance crew to a 24 hour-a-day, 7 day-a-week service. Positioning a staffed, advanced life support ambulanced near the center of one of busiest areas of the County will allow for faster responses to critical emergency medical incidents.
"The community will experience improved response times and a higher level of service as a result of these system changes, and we appreciate the support and cooperation of our volunteer partners in implementing continuing efforts to increase public safety" said Albemarle County Fire Rescue Chief Dan Eggleston.
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