ALBEMARLE COUNTY, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) -- On Tuesday, the North Garden Volunteer Fire Company and the Albemarle County Department of Fire Rescue announced a partnership to provide additional emergency response coverage.

The chiefs of both organizations said that this is a very important feat for both departments because it allows them to not only work together as a bigger team, but it also allows for faster emergency response times.

This is the newest career and volunteer fire station combination for the county. This type of collaboration started two years ago but both departments have worked together for the past 20 years.

"This two-year process here, it's something our company decided that is a need that our citizens had, our growing community, the amount of calls we had, the lack in volunteerism. It put a lot of stress on our system," said North Garden Volunteer Fire Company’s Chief George Stephens. "But being able to provide those increased and greater services to the community is really what we wanted to be able to provide.”

Currently, the county works with six volunteer stations, including North Garden. Three career firefighters are going to be working from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, giving the 26 volunteer firefighters more help during the day.

Both fire chiefs say that their crews have the same training and responsibilities and can work together seamlessly, so people can't tell the difference between volunteer and career firefighters. It's all about teamwork and brotherhood.

“But again, at the end of the day, we both have the same training and we work side-by-side. Shoulder-to-shoulder, supporting our citizen's needs. With the staff that's come to join us here, this is their new home. And it's a brotherhood. We're together. And the yellow, it's something that keeps our individuality, but at the same time we're together,” Stephens said.

Stevens has been chief for 21 years and he dedicated his life to volunteerism nearly 40 years ago.

"I watched a home burn in our neighborhood, it actually was the janitor at the elementary school I went to. And I stood there and I watched that home burn. The volunteers were there, did everything they could to save it. And I'm standing there watching, and I realized that I wasn't doing anything. And that was the motivating factor for me. I need to do something, I need to give back, I need to help my citizens and my neighbors and my community,” he said.

And he's been focused on serving his community ever since. Having both North Garden and Albemarle County trucks together in one garage shows the unity between the two and just how great this accomplishment is.