DADEVILLE, AL (WSFA) - On a plot of land spread over two acres will be the home of the new Dadeville Fire Department. The location? East on 280 about two miles from downtown.
“It’s going to be a lot safer," said Dadeville Fire Chief Anthony Wilkerson.
Wilkerson, along with Mayor Wayne Smith, says it’s time. The old fire hall in town is approaching 30 years old. The roof leaks in several places and the largest of the firetrucks, the so-called platform truck, can barely make it in with the 12-foot doors.
“It’s going to cost a good bit just to fix the problem," said Chief Wilkerson.
Both men see this as an opportunity to increase the fire department’s ISO rating by at least one point.
An ISO rating is what insurance companies use to rate fire departments. It’s based on several criteria such as equipment, manpower and response time. The lower the number is, the better the department’s ranking. In turn, the better it is for homeowners who’ll save money on insurance.
“That puts money in people’s pockets," Smith said.
Also, there are studies indicating cancer is claiming more fighters' lives than heart attacks across the country. One of the culprits is the exhaust from fire trucks. Part of the new fire station will include a $40,000 piece of equipment that’ll clear the air once the fire engine returns to the fire department.
Assuming all of this goes through, city leaders say they already have a potential buyer for the fire station property in downtown. The sale of the land could come in handy since the city has to pitch in 25 percent toward the overall cost of $300,000. The bulk of the money will come from USDA grants.
Construction will likely begin in the spring. “It’s going to be one story," Wilkerson stated.
Until then, the chief will just keeping patching up holes and wait for his new home away from home.