Over 150 guests officially welcomed Harrowgate Fire Station No. 21 to the community with a dedication and ribbon-cutting ceremony on Sunday, April 26. During the reception, guests were able to tour the station. The station will serve over 8,000 residents, 18 percent of the county’s industrial sites and 10 percent of its storage facilities. With staff being on the job for the last 60 days, response time for the station calls have ranged from nine minutes and 24 seconds to seven minutes and six seconds.
“We needed a fire station,” said local resident Jon Francoeur, who attended the event with his son Isaac, age six. “It is nice to know there is a fire station right next door to where my son goes to school. Talk about rapid response.” Isaac attends Evangel Christian School.
Local resident Maria Ozmore ispleased to see the station near her home.
“I am very excited about being able to cut down the response time (for a call),” she said. “There are a lot of seniors living in our community. This is really a benefit. I see the guys [fire fighters] often going up and down the road taking care of our citizens. It is a very peaceful feeling with them being so close.”
Platform guests included Battalion Chief Timothy McKay, with opening remarks; Rev. Mike and Mrs. Donna Buckley, giving the invocation and commemoration; Chesterfield County Board of Supervisors Chairman Steve Elswick and Bermuda Supervisor Dorothy Jaeckle, with opening comments; Chief of Chesterfield Fire and Emergency Medical Services Edward (Loy) Senter, Jr., with closing comments; and Rev. David Huffman, Chaplain.
Chairman Elswick was part of the master plan for fire stations in the county, 20 years ago, when he served as a fire fighter and later as Fire Chief.
“I am very humbled to be part of this special event,” he said. “Twenty years ago I took part in identifying the need for a fire station here. I never would have dreamed that I would be chairman on the day of its dedication, to celebrate the opening of this station.” He named men who made the station possible – referring to Bob Eanes, Joe Newsomes and others. “Without their hard work and special fighting, we would not be here today. To the new men and women at the station here, always be careful, and remember you have a greater calling.”