At least 100 local residents visited City of Lenoir Fire Station No. 3 Monday, Oct. 7, 2019, during an open house hosted by the Fire Department.
Fire Chief Ken Hair said he was amazed by the turnout and thankful to see so much support from the community for the new station.
"I think the event went very well," Hair said. "A lot of residents told me, 'We’re glad you guys are here,' and 'We’re thankful to have you in the community.' It was nice to hear that and to have that kind of community support."
Hair had 11 firefighters at Station 3 Monday night to give tours, help people try on fire gear, and talk about what firefighters do on the job. The firefighters also grilled hot dogs for visitors.
Mayor Joe Gibbons said he was glad so many people came out to see the new station.
"We’re very proud of Station 3, and I’m glad we could showcase it to the community," Gibbons said. "I thought we had a great turnout. It was a lot of fun and everyone had a good time."
Councilman Ike Perkins said he was impressed by the set up at Station 3 and the technology firefighters have on hand today.
Station 3 has a two-screen digital monitoring area where firefighters can read information and follow fire calls. On one screen, the battalion chiefs post ride lists, calendars, and announcements. The second screen shows Active 911. When a call comes in, firefighters can see the call location on the map and nearby fire hydrants. During a call, the Chiefs can see the location of all the trucks coming to the scene in real time and can direct them to the closest fire hydrants. Each fire truck and Battalion Chief vehicle also has a tablet equipped with Active 911.
"It was nice to see how we’ve advanced with technology in the department and how we can follow our trucks and firefighters during a call," Perkins said. "I was so impressed with the whole building."
Perkins said he also was impressed with how enthusiastic the City's firefighters were when talking about the station with visitors.
"Our firefighters are very proud of the department and of that station, and that means a lot to me," Perkins said.
During the open house, visitors had a chance to operate a fire hose. Councilman Ike Perkins volunteered to go first and show everyone how it's done. (Video below)
"Grabbing that fire hose was exciting, but I don’t think I’ll do it again," Perkins said laughing. "I’ll let the professionals handle it from now on."
Perkins said he left the open house confident that he City's Fire Department is capable of handling emergencies in Lenoir.
"The main thing I took away from the visit is that I am safe in Lenoir," Perkins said. "I know we have the equipment and personnel to protect our people."
The City opened Station No. 3 in August this year.
Related: City dedicates new Fire Station No. 3, Aug. 13, 2019
Deputy Chief Kenny Nelson helps a girl operate a fire hose during the Station 3 open house.