Maylene’s Fire Department gets $300,000 grant for new station

Published 6:03 pm Friday, February 5, 2010

A federal grant awarded to County 17 Fire and Rescue Department will provide the funds to nearly double the size of the current station, said Capt. Dave Hawthorne. The grant is one of four given to fire departments in Alabama by FEMA, and the only one to go to a volunteer fire station. The other grants went to full-time departments in Birmingham, Huntsville, and Mobile. Across the nation, 6,025 stations applied for grant money and only about 180 were awarded, said Hawthorne.

Hawthorne wrote the Assistance to Firefighters Stations Construction grant and said his station found out that they were awarded nearly $300,000 a couple months ago. “All of the firefighters were extremely excited,” he said. “Right now our station is little more than a cinder block with just enough room for the vehicles.”

The new station will include living quarters, bathrooms, and a meeting area as well as the latest in critical safety equipment for the building, said Hawthorne. The additions will expand the station an extra 2,300 square feet.

Local businesses and citizens have already shown support for the new station, he said. Pelham’s Counter Dimensions said they will donate the cabinetry and counter tops, E.L. Klinner pitched in bunkbeds, Best Buy has promised electronics at cost and Lowe’s has offered building materials at-cost, said Hawthorne.

Right now the station is waiting on the federal government to complete an environmental assessment of the building plans. Fire Chief Jason Carter said, “As soon as they say go, we’re ready to build.”

“It should only take a few months for construction to be completed once we can get started,” Hawthorne said.