HENRICO, VA (WWBT) - It is hard not to notice the beautiful new Station Eight on Patterson near Forest Avenue. For so long, all you would see was an outdated 1940's facility. We showed it to you in March of 2009 as firefighters struggled to navigate their equipment in the small space.
"It had basically maxed out as far as being able to be totally functional for the size of equipment we're carrying. The amount of people that have to be housed here," said Chief Edwin Smith, Henrico Fire and EMS.
What a difference two years and two million bond referendum dollars have made.
"We're in awe! To actually, finally be in a new building," said Captain Marshall Nelson.
Captain Nelson took us inside to show the community how much their tax dollars mean.
We start in the large apparatus bay, which unlike the old station, fits any size truck. It's almost like home for Marshall's firefighters who spend countless hours here waiting for the calls to come in.
"This is the new locker room for Fire Station Number 8. In the old building the locker room was actually in the bedroom," he said.
You may remember the old house had only one bunk room. It was like navigating an obstacle course when the crew got a call in the middle of the night. Here each person has an individual section.
The thirteen firefighters will be able to cook in the modern kitchen, work out in a separate room and learn the very latest in firefighting and safety techniques in this large training area.
"We can do it all in this station," Nelson said.
They're ready to respond to any fire on the 400 streets this station covers in the West End.
"When you look at the newer facilities that we're building, we're building them for the next fifty years. This is designed for the next fifty years," said Smith.
A grand opening and dedication ceremony is expected later this summer.