The Richmond Fire Department welcomed a new addition to its fleet Wednesday. The city's first new fire station in over twenty years is now open for business.
The $4.6 million facility will handle more emergency calls but will respond to them quicker than ever.
The new Station 17 replaces a nearly 100-year-old building that once accommodated horse-drawn firefighting equipment. This building will accommodate much more than that.
Paid for with grant money and also city tax money, fire officials say the facility was built with the firefighter in mind.
It's equipped with eight beds, a theater, and an upgraded kitchen.
Most importantly, the prime location on Semmes Avenue will cut down on response time even though the number of emergency calls will increase.
"We can get to places faster," said Battalion Chief Robert Duffus. "We're going to have a pretty significant call volume here. We're going to run downtown more than we ever have before."
The building isn't the only thing that got an upgrade. The station was built on a city park so the fire department improved the nearby walking trails and updated all the lighting for folks to enjoy.
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