Back in September an empty lot near the intersection of Briarwood Road West and Highway 39 was no more than a vacant piece of property in the Northeast part of the city. Now it is Meridian Fire Station Number Nine, and it's almost ready for duty. Construction crews have been working around the clock for about the past six months and Meridian Fire Chief Anthony Clayton says it will serve some of Meridian's newest residents.
"It will cover the entire new annexed area, plus portions of the remaining city."
Firefighters from within the department have been assigned to the area and are currently working out of a cramped volunteer fire station. The close to $900,000 state of the art facility will house at least 3 firefighters per shift along with a brand new 2500 gallon tanker truck. There are private bedrooms, bathrooms, and an office for the Captain, along with living and dining areas. Right now the department is made up entirely of males, but now they're ready for females at any time.
"In the event that we ever get a female firefighter to pass the exam again, we've had one in the past to pass, then we'll be set up to house her in her own quarters."
Station 9 is comparable in both size and equipment to many of the city's other fire stations, but Chief Clayton says that now they are building for the future.
"It'll also have the capacity to house two more, so in the future if we have to expand or add personnel, we've already accounted for that.
If all plans go on as scheduled, the firefighters should move in within the next few weeks.