After being in one location for over 60 years, the Seven Springs Volunteer Fire Department finally unveiled its new home Friday.
Seven Springs Fire Chief Jeremy Price has been with the department for more than 19 years. He described the old station as “over-crowded” since the day he first joined.
Seven Springs has 33 members so a new space was “much needed,” he said.
The new station was completed at a cost of $2 million and nearly all of the price tag was covered by a $1,841,539.49 grant from the Golden Leaf Foundation.
“We were hesitant at first [to] ask for a loan but it worked out perfectly,” Price said. The station is fully paid off thanks to a handful of other generous donors, he added.
Firefighters say they like that the new firehouse sits along N.C. Highway 55 and provides them with a chance at faster routes for emergency calls. The station averages 140 calls a year. Seven Springs VFD is also under contract to provide support, as needed, to Wayne, Lenoir and Duplin counties. A third of Seven Springs’ district lies in Lenoir County and two-thirds are in Wayne County.
The new station has two bunk rooms, a commercial kitchen equipped with commercial appliances and a full generator in case of power outages.
The new facility is not technically the organized shelter in case of an emergency, but Price says “If it came down to it, we could hold people here until we were able to get them to the shelter, which is something we really couldn’t do before.”
With five trucks and room for 10 in the new station, Price says he is hoping to continue to expand the department.
“We’re looking to keeping our members involved and continue to expand as we go forward. Keeping pride as a department in the communities that we serve is a big priority for us,” Price said. “I really don’t want our community to forget the help we have received and how thankful we are for that/”
The new station is located at 5377 Highway 55 East, Seven Springs.