June 08--SPOUT SPRINGS -- Spout Springs Station Emergency Services chief Al Jarvis says today's open house is both a time of celebration and reflection.
Celebration because of the doubling of space and upgrading of facilities. Reflection because of those who have served in the past and just how much more is required now.
"When I first came here as chief, there were about 8,000 people in the coverage area," Jarvis said. "Now, there are more than twice as many. "We've had to expand into our station near Johnsonville, and we'll need to add another station in the future."
In short, if Spout Springs ever incorporated, it would be the largest city in Harnett County. The dynamic growth in western Harnett County has created a demand for round-the-clock coverage by emergency services.
That meant fitting more people and equipment into a facility that was already crowded.
"We have 52 people in all, with 24/7 coverage," Jarvis said. "The growth in this area is unbelievable, and it isn't stopping anytime soon.
"The expansion here makes a world of difference."
The Spout Springs station, on Buffalo Lake Road near N.C. 87, has been doubled in size by building up. All bedding, a fitness center and room for EMS have been moved upstairs.
"There are more beds, more bathrooms, a recreation room and kitchenette, -- just more room to stretch out," he said. "Before we expanded, all the beds were jammed together by necessity. It made getting sleep difficult at times."
Downstairs, training areas have been expanded, as have the dining hall and kitchen. There is additional office space and more storage.
The project began about a year ago, and only small details remain. A few pictures have yet to be re-hung, and a plaque honoring those who have served was waiting to be attached near the front door.
The truck bays aren't affected by the expansion, but there is one shiny addition -- a fire pole.
"How can you have a two-story fire station without one?" Jarvis asked. "We asked the builder if they could add one, and they found it for us."
Has anyone made the slide yet? Jarvis laughed.
"Heck yeah!" he said. "Lots of people were ready to jump as soon as it was put in.
"The new facilities here are great, but one thing hasn't changed: We've got a great bunch ready to help their neighbors. That hasn't changed one bit."
Staff writer Chick Jacobs can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 486-3515.
Copyright 2014 - The Fayetteville Observer, N.C.