LONG BEACH, MS (WLOX) - After years of working out of a temporary facility, Long Beach firefighters moved into their new home on East Second Street late last week.
Like so many other structures, the original Long Beach Fire Station sustained heavy damage from Hurricane Katrina. After that setback, the station continued servicing the community just fine from a temporary location. But Long Beach Firefighters say they're glad to be in their new building.
"We're real excited about the new place opening," said Gary Holder Jr. "Great location, right down in the center of town. And you know, we got all of our equipment moved down here, the landscaping looks great and all the guys with the department are real excited about it."
And the firefighters have good reason to be excited. The new 12,000 square foot building is fully equipped with classrooms, a full kitchen, and was built to sustain 200 mile per hour winds.
"We've got a generator that will keep us going throughout an event. We've got backup water and sewer systems. We feel real good about this," said Long Beach Fire Chief George Bass.
With the help of FEMA, Hazard Mitigation Funding, and state MDA funding, the fire station was able to make their hopes for a new building, a reality.
"When you combine the three funding sources with the small amount of insurance we had on our previous facility, we were able to put this building together. And we're looking at standing in front of a $3.8 million facility," Bass said.
"It's built to where we can grow into the future, certainly passed my time being here as chief. Down the road with further development, we'll be able to fulfill the needs for fire fighting because of this facility here."
Since moving in, Long Beach Firefighters have already responded to about three calls. There are plans in the works for an official grand opening and there will be an announcement about that very soon.