New fire station under construction aims to cut down response times

Published: Jul. 26, 2021 at 7:16 PM EDT
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LELAND, N.C. (WECT) - Being the fastest growing county in the state has its benefits But it also has some challenges, like the need for more first responders to serve the increasing population.

Station 53 will be the third fire station in Leland, creating a triangle to better protect the growing community. It’s being built along Old Lanvale Road on the site of an old municipal operations building.

“We’ve had a lot of crews out here over the last couple weeks-- clearing some trees, doing some grading out here, starting to remove some stumps and miscellaneous debris that we have going on,” said project manager Will Lear. “We’ve already started work inside, doing rough ends, plumbing, electrical.”

The location will create a triangle of fire stations in the town, aiming to shave five minutes off of response times. It will be a stone’s throw from Brunswick Forest, meaning thousands will fall under its umbrella. That’s good news to residents hoping for fast action in case of emergency.

“Five minutes is a big lifesaver,” said Brunswick Forest resident Bruce Rudberg. “We’re not that close to the closest emergency room, so the fastest they can get here to get us there, the better.”

“If we can get to a fire while it’s still in its incipient stage, we can create a better outcome for the occupants, for anybody that might be trapped in the building and stop the fire where it’s located and prevent additional damage,” said Leland Fire Chief Chris Langlois.

The station won’t only help save neighbors’ lives; it could safe firefighters, too. Station 53 will include a new decontamination area, designed to remove any potentially cancer-causing agents firefighters may come in contact with on the job.

“When the firefighters come back, they have the soot, the carcinogens on their gear, on their skin,” said Langlois. “Once they take their gear off, they go into a decontamination area where they shower. They can get those carcinogens and soot and things off in their shower and then enter a cleaner area of the station where the living area is.”

On top of the public safety benefits, the new fire station will also create more jobs. Leland Fire hired nine firefighters earlier this year that will work out of the new station and will hire three more in the near future.

More work still needs to be done as the fire department hopes to expand the facilities to include more space for trucks and people.

“This station will house the on-duty battalion chief, it will house an engine company, which is a pumper, and also a truck company, which is the ladder truck,” said Langlois.

Station 53 is expected to be finished by the end of 2021. Meanwhile, another new station will begin construction in September to replace the existing station on Village Road. That station, Station 51, will be along US 74 near Northwest District Park and should be completed by February 2022.

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