Lexington’s first new fire station in 12 years officially opened its doors Thursday.
"This is where our apparatuses are stored, ambulance, engine truck," Charles Ashford explains. The newcomer to Station 2 conducts a quick tour of the new digs, which bear little resemblance to the former station where he spent his first eight months training.
"It was just very old school," he says. "Nothing really outdated. It was really like a house."
Even getting emergency vehicles out on the pavement at the former East New Circle Road location was no small feat.
"At our old station, we had trouble getting out of the bays and fighting traffic. So here it's more accessible to Winchester Road, New Circle, and the neighborhood streets," says At-Large Councilman Kevin Stinnett.
With a growing Winchester Road corridor from Hamburg to Midland, it made sense to shift operations from the 64-year-old building to a new facility off Eastland Drive. Fire chief Kristin Chilton says the goal is to reach any spot in town in four minutes or less.
"Anything out on this side of the Hamburg area, the high school... it makes us just that much closer to Winchester Road, so we'll have that coverage," she says.
In 2016, Station 2 logged over 9,300 emergency runs, making it the busiest station in town.
City leaders say the new Station 2 off Eastland Drive will serve as the new hub for fire department activity on the east and northeast end. Next on the list for a new firehouse: the Masterson Station area.