Walden’s Ridge Fire Station Celebrates Grand Opening
CHATTANOOGA, Tenn (WDEF) – Walden’s Ridge Emergency Services is celebrating the completion and grand opening of their new fire station.
“It can be an extrication on the W road. It could be someone that’s fallen off the mountain and needs to be carried up the side of the cliff. It could be something as simple as an elderly person that’s on the floor and can’t get up. All of this started in the mid-1970s when a group of people in this community saw a need, stood up, and said ‘let’s do something about this.,'” says Bill Thorton, Chairman of the Board.
This fire hall is replacing the fire station that was built in 1980.
“ It was three months before we ever got a certificate of occupancy so somebody could stay here but we had to keep our things here because they tore the old station down. But This group has remained resilient. They have battled through stations not working, no water, no heat all through the construction process,” says Deputy Chief, Jim Gault.
The new 20,000 square foot fire station contains a community room, sleeping quarters, integrated training props, state-of-the-art audio-visual systems, and a Decontamination Room.
Former firefighter and the current mayor of Hamilton County, Jim Coppinger, says these men and women deserve a place to be able to call home and serve the community efficiently.
“They will always be my brothers and sisters as first responders but they are better than they were when I was there. They are just like athletes; they are bigger, better, more educated, better trained, and have better equipment. They do it all. They do this without being paid,” says Hamilton County Mayor, Jim Coppinger.
Walden’s Ridge Emergency Services has forty-two personnel, responds to 400 alarms a year, and covers approximately 38.5 square miles.
“What this fire hall will be for the next 50 years – none of us know. But we are thankful for the anchor that I can be for this community,” says Thorton.