VIDEO: Fire station dedication
The Hinesville Fire Department is ready to move into its new home.
With the ceremonial uncoupling of a fire hose Wednesday morning, the City of Hinesville unveiled its massive and sparkling new Station 1. The 17,000 square foot building is more than three times the size of the building adjacent to it that is replacing.
“We’ve got room for training, we’ve got room to sleep, we have an amazing dayroom and kitchen area,” exclaimed Hinesville Fire Chief Robert Kitchings. “It’s been a long time coming. The guys have worked so hard and they deserve what they’re getting.”
Five massive bays are big enough to accommodate the department’s largest vehicles. There also are touches inside for the fire fighters — an expansive dayroom, a gym and dorm rooms. And with the addition of more female firefighters, there are now showers and restroom facilities for them.
“It’s a great day in the City of Hinesville,” Mayor Allen Brown said. “This building even separates us even further from the days some of us are old enough to remember when we had one fire truck and one paid fireman, who was the chief, and a bunch of wonderful volunteers. We’ve come a long way since those humble but dedicated beginnings. This is a promise to our citizens that we are investing in your safety. Our firefighters will be better equipped to respond faster, act more efficiently and provide the highest level of care when you need it the most.”
The groundbreaking for the new station was held in February 2022 and the $8 million facility was built with special purpose local option sales tax proceeds. It was designed to fit in aesthetically with the rest of downtown.
“This day is a testament to our city’s progress and our resilience,” Mayor Brown said. “This new station reminds us that we are always ready to face a challenge.”
“This is a magnificent day for a magnificent city and a magnificent county,” Council member Vicky Nelson said.
The process for building a new fire station started 20 years ago, Howard said. Now retired fire chief Lamar Cook, who spent 40 years with the department, first brought up the need for a new station to replace the adjacent Robert L. Hendry Station opened in 1978.
“All the planning began 21 years ago with Chief Cook,” Chief Kitchings said. “Without his leadership, mentorship and guidance, none of this would have been possible.”
Mayor Brown pointed out his name is on the nameplate of the new station and it’s on the plate on the old Hendry Station next door, which was built when he was city administrator.
That old station will be torn down. Along with the hose uncoupling opening the new station, a plaque dedicating the new station in honor of the late Moe McDuffie was unveiled. McDuffie was the first Black fire marshal in HFD history.
The new station has 13 dorm rooms and can sleep up to 26 fire fighters comfortably. It will be home to 45 fire fighters, spread out across three shifts.
“It’s here and it’s beautiful,” Chief Kitchings added. “It’s certainly the most beautiful in this area. I don’t know how far you’d have to travel to find one to rival this one.”