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— Nearly three decades after originally purchased, the little piece of land on Posy Mountain Road has been added to and a new, larger fire station built.

NEBCO station No. 2 has been the culmination of a dream and area residents have helped build it, according to Fire Chief Rob Taylor. The new building is 84- by 60-feet and has five bays as well as room for an office or living quarters, when the funds are available.

The old 30- by 30-foot metal building served the community well, but must go. It will be auctioned off at this weekends' turkey shoot. In 1978, NEBCO acquired 9/10 of an acre. Last year NEBCO bought about an acre of land adjacent to it on which to construct the new building.

"We try to keep everything within a five-mile radius," Taylor said. "This was the first one built."

The second station built, now Station No. 1, was constructed in 1980 on Wimpy Jones Road across the street where the newest Station No. 1, constructed in 2004, now sits.

NEBCO stations are:

• 1 Wimpy Jones Road, 2004

• 2 Posy Mountain Road, 2009

• 3 Ventris Road

• 4 Indian Creek

• 5 Slate Gap and

• A boat dock at Lost Bridge.

"The building is paid for as we speak. There is no money borrowed. We raised all the money through fundraisers. We spent about $92,000 on the building and the land," Taylor said.

The locations of each station, as well as sources of water, help to keep the ISO ratings as low as possible for area residents. He said a tanker and rescue/ service trucks are strategically located at specific stations. Six of the 15 trucks are county owned.

"We've applied for grants," Taylor said, adding that he hopes they'll help with the second phase which he hopes to enclose the office/living quarters and pour a "concrete apron" driveway from the road into the station house.

"For better fire protection, you've gotta have water. The more central, the better, there has been no tanker at station 5," Taylor said.

"I can't control the fire hydrant situation, but I can do something about tanker shuttle," he said.

Some of the buildings in the NEBCO area are on Beaver Lake and people have questioned why that does not count as a source of water. But, Taylor explained that being able to use that water to fight the fire is what the ISO inspectors look at.

"If there is no pump to access the water to spray for a certain period of time on a fire, the ISO regulations do not count it as a water source," he said.

Equipment and insurance are the biggest expenses, Taylor said, adding that eventually NEBCO hopes to one day staff the stations during the day.

There are 35 people on the NEBCO roster. "Equipping and training our people is the most important thing we can do right now," Taylor said. "What really helps lower the ISO ratings is a water supply."

Many of the NEBCO firefighters are emergency medical technicians and many are continuing or upgrading their training, Taylor said, in order "to better serve the community."

News, Pages 9 on 09/23/2009

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