New Chelsea Fire and Rescue station opens

CHELSEA – Chelsea Fire and Rescue’s new station off Shelby County 51 is officially staffed and in service.

Chelsea Fire Chief Wayne Shirley announced the opening of Station 33 and an adjacent tornado shelter on Monday, April 6.

“After the virus is controlled and we get back to a somewhat normal routine, we will schedule an open house with station tours as well as a ribbon cutting ceremony,” Shirley said. “Until then, please understand why we are not allowed to give tours quite yet.

“Thank you, Chelsea, for allowing us to serve you and for providing the equipment needed to give you the best possible service. Thanks to our mayor and council for their support. Special thanks to Captain Tommy King and our team for all they do for our community.”

The station provides enhanced coverage to the eastern part of the city, including the Chelsea Park area.

Previously, it took firefighters and paramedics 10-12 minutes to respond to Chelsea Park from Station 31, Shirley said, mainly because of traffic on U.S. 280.

From the new station, the response time is closer to 4 minutes.

A significant reason driving the need for improved response time in the area is Chelsea Park Elementary School, Shirley said, though all Chelsea Park residents will surely be glad to know help is closer.

“It will get help to the people sooner when they need it,” Shirley said. “Seconds mean a lot when somebody is having a heart attack.”

The station can accommodate as many as five firefighters, and Shirley said staff will be added as call volume inevitably increases.

The firefighters/paramedics currently housed at Station 33 will cross-man apparatuses at the site—an engine company and a transport unit, both equipped with advanced life support—meaning they will operate whichever apparatus is needed for a given call.

Backup, if needed, will come from Station 31.

A third bay at Station 33 will house some reserve equipment, while giving the station room to grow.

The station will also house the fire marshal’s office. Tommy King serves in that position for Chelsea and is also be the officer in charge of the station.

Living quarters will be on the second level of the station.

Station 33 also includes a classroom that can accommodate up to 20 students, both for in-house sessions and possibly for neighboring agencies that need training space.

A dedicated training officer could eventually be headquartered at the station, and the surrounding property could be utilized as an outdoor area.