Photo by Frank Couch.
Fire Station No. 10
The recently completed Fire Station No. 10 in the Ross Bridge Town Center in Hoover.
People who live in the Ross Bridge and Shannon communities might rest a little easier these days, knowing they have a new permanent fire station in their community.
The Hoover Fire Department on Sunday, Feb. 7, plans to hold a grand opening and reception at Hoover Fire Station No. 10 from 12:30 p.m. to 3 p.m. The station is at 3537 Market Street in the Ross Bridge Town Center.
The $2.3 million station actually opened quietly in November, but officials held off on a grand opening ceremony until new furniture arrived.
Hoover Fire Chief Chuck Wingate said Ross Bridge has needed a new fire station for quite a while, and he’s relieved to see the new station open.
“I can go to bed at night knowing that we are providing our citizens enough coverage throughout the city,” Wingate said. “I think the people feel very good about it, too.”
Now, the Hoover Fire Department’s response time to calls in Ross Bridge is anywhere from one to six minutes, whereas some of the calls took more than 12 minutes when firefighters were coming from Fire Station No. 6 off Alabama 150, Wingate said.
Hoover officials knew the new station was needed when homes started being built more than five miles from Station No. 6, he said.
City officials opened a temporary station in a modular building at the northeast corner of Ross Bridge Parkway and Shannon-Oxmoor Road in March 2014 until the permanent station could be built. Next to the modular building, Signature Homes built a 20-foot-by-50-foot bay to house the aerial ladder truck that serves the Ross Bridge community. It’s no longer needed now that the permanent station is in place.
Construction of the permanent station took about a year, Wingate said.
Homeowners also were feeling the pinch before the temporary station opened because insurance rates tend to be higher when homes are more than five miles from a fire station.
Lane Siddall, who has lived in Ross Bridge with his wife, Lindsay, and son, Bentley, for four years, said it’s always good when a new fire station is built closer to your home.
“It just gives you a feeling of security thinking they’ll be able to have a quicker response time,” Siddall said. Also, the potential for lower insurance rates is a plus, he said.
He and his son, a fourth-grader at Deer Valley Elementary, recently visited the new fire station and firefighters there. “We just wanted to meet ‘em and just thank ‘em for being in the community,” Siddall said.
He was also glad to see the fire station designated as a “Safe Place,” where young people or other people in distress can come for help whenever they need it, he said.
Wingate said the Ross Bridge community has been welcoming. Some of the residents brought Thanksgiving dinner to the station, and two to three businesses offered to cater the fire station’s open house, he said. “It’s been well-received in the area.”
The 6,027-square-foot station, by the Dungan Nequette architectural firm, is designed to fit in architecturally with the Ross Bridge community. It has two bays, though right now only one fire truck that has a 75-foot-long ladder, which is needed to help serve the six-story Renaissance Ross Bridge Golf Resort & Spa.
The new station also has four firefighter bedrooms, an officer bedroom, restrooms and showers, a meeting area, living room, office, gear room and a nice kitchen, Wingate said.
Twelve firefighters work out of it, including one part-timer, Wingate said. That’s enough to have three per shift, he said.
The Ross Bridge fire station serves the entire Ross Bridge community, including the single-family homes and apartment complexes. It also serves people who live outside the city limits of Hoover in the Shannon community, but within two miles of the city. There are about 100 people in the Shannon community who pay fire dues to the city of Hoover to be covered, Wingate said.
Hoover’s next fire station likely will be built somewhere between the current end of Stadium Trace Parkway and Shelby County 52 as that area develops, Wingate said.