FIRST ON 3: Walker County firefighters responding to calls faste - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

FIRST ON 3: Walker County firefighters responding to calls faster

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FLINTSTONE, WALKER COUNTY -

UPDATE: Residents in northern Walker County are a little safer thanks to a full-time fire station. 

The county spent $2,500 to renovate the station into a full-time fire hall and it's already making a difference. 

"We've noticed a reduction in fire calls already," Walker County Emergency Services Fire Chief Blake Hodge said. 

Crews spent the last couple of months turning the volunteer fire station into one that houses fire fighters full time. 

They've been answering calls in the northern part of the county for about two weeks now. 

Hodge said they were able to get to one call four minutes faster than before. 

"That four minutes kept that fire to a minimum. They were able to extinguish the fire, save the property. Luckily the homeowners were out of the house," he added. 

With 80% of the fire department's calls coming from the northern part of the county, Hodge believes this station will help keep residents safer and save taxpayer dollars by cutting down on gas and wear and tear on vehicles. 

"I appreciate the opportunity and thank the citizens because it is tax dollars the improved the station but we're also improving the service delivery with that," he said. 

Residents in the Flinstone and Chattanooga Valley areas can expect to see a drop in homeowners insurance in the future. 

You should check with your agent on when that will happen. 

You can also check out the fire station yourself Friday during their open house and ribbon cutting from 11 am-1 pm. 

The station is located at 63 Cubine Road, Flinstone, GA.


PREVIOUS STORY: Better fire services are coming to those who live in parts of Walker County. 

The changes come after the department's new fire chief finished a study that showed 80-percent of the department's calls come from the northern part of the county which currently does not have a full-time fire station. 

Right now, it takes crews between 15 and 20 minutes to answer a call for help in the area because there are no full-time fire stations north of Rock Spring or Chickamauga. 

It's costing the county $25,000 to turn Station 2 into a full-time station where volunteers currently work out of. 

The county is adding full-time sleeping quarters, a new HVAC system and new furniture. 

"When they do another ISO rating based on response times and also the Water and Sewage Authority is doing some upgrades to water and sewage lines, like adding more fire hydrants. So a couple things are in play that should knock down insurance rates for those in the Flinstone and Chattanooga Valley area," Walker County spokesman Joe Legge said. 

Station 2 is slated to be ready for full-time service in July. 

Four full-time firefighters will be moved to the station and work with the current volunteers. 

There is another fire station in the Hinkle community. 

Walker County Commissioner Shannon Whitfield hopes to have that one completed in the future. 

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