According to a report from Yahoo News, the Owens Volunteer Fire Department (OVFD) in Athens, Alabama, is looking to turn an old ballfield at the old Owens Elementary School campus on Alabama 99 into the site for their new station.
At Tuesday’s Limestone County Board of Education session, Owens Volunteer Fire Department said they have an idea for another part of the site—turning the old ballfield into a new fire station for the department.
Tommy Toone an OVFD member and emergency medical technician and paramedic said that the department has been looking for land for the past several years on which to build a new station, saying the department has outgrown its station.
Toone also said the former school site is ideal because it’s on a stretch of the highway with a turn lane as well as a hydrant at the site. Additionally, they believe an area they can convert an area near a hill into a new community storm shelter.
Toone and OVFD Chief Andy Pylant said the current storm shelter is in such disrepair that it would be easier and more cost-effective to get a grant for a new station.
Finally, building a new fire station and storm shelter would mean clearing the area to such a degree that a helipad could be installed, meaning first responders wouldn’t have to transport medical or trauma patients all the way into Athens.
Town Board member Bradley Young said he needed a more detailed layout of the OVFD’s plans for the land and how much area would be needed for the station before he could fully commit to it.