New Pantops rescue station construction ahead of schedule

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ALBEMARLE COUNTY, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) -- For years, Albemarle County Fire and Rescue has relied on Sentara Martha Jefferson Hospital for housing its ambulance on Pantops Mountain.

"They do have to walk pretty far to get into that ambulance, and sometimes during the winter months, it's a delayed response," said Albemarle County Fire and Rescue Chief Dan Eggleston.

That will soon be a thing of the past because crews are putting the finishing touches on the brand new Station 16, which is located virtually right next door to the hospital.

Eggleston said he is happy with the construction's progress, which he said is ahead of schedule.

"It's going along very smoothly, it's ahead of schedule and within budget," said Eggleston.

The new station will serve an area that has seen tremendous growth over the last several years, and will help rescue crews respond to an emergency quicker than before.

"The Pantops area is probably one of the highest risk areas we have in the county," said Eggleston.

Pantops has a large population of people over the age of 65, which is one reason why county leaders wanted to get the project done after more than a decade of planning.

"There are a lot of houses there, and there are a lot of businesses there," said Norman Dill, an Albemarle County supervisor. "If there were some sort of an emergency, it's important to have a new station right there."

With a new rescue station also provides the opportunity for new volunteers.

About 10 people are signed up currently, but Lead Volunteer Doug Snyder said they need more help.

"We want about 25 volunteers total," he said. "We're getting there, but we need some help."

Snyder has been volunteering with the county since 2008, and he said he is looking forward to getting to work at his new home.

"We're excited to come together and provide EMS transport and response service that's badly needed in the area," said Snyder.

Construction is expected to be complete by mid-March, with a ribbon cutting to follow in April.

Check the Related Links box for more information on how to become a volunteer at Station 16.

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