KNOXVILLE — A remodeling project at the Knoxville Fire/Rescue Department is expected to begin soon.
The project will include a new floor, new ceiling tiles, more storage space and the conversion of an area into two work stations. Fire Chief Greg Higginbotham does not have a start date for the project, but the estimated cost is under $5,000.
According to Higginbotham, there has not been a remodel of the station since it was built in the 1970s. A few ceiling tiles are missing after suffering water damage. The storage areas will have a nicer appearance, with a solid countertop.
In the bay area of the station is an empty space, large enough to hold a third ambulance. To make room, the department's rescue boat has been moved to a new storage facility at the Knoxville Municipal Airport.
Other new developments at the fire station include a new bunk bed frame. Higginbotham explains that, once mattresses are placed, the beds can be utilized by on-call workers. In the past, those on call have slept on couches. This will be a better situation, Higginbotham believes.
As one walks into the fire station, a glass display case can be seen. The department has cleaned that out, and filled it with photos of members of the department. Photos are arranged in order of seniority. Higginbotham says this is a new way to show pride in the department.
Finally, in a corner of the bay area, are pieces of exercise equipment. Staying in shape is important for Fire/Rescue personnel, and with the addition of a used sit-up station, free weights, treadmill, eliptical machine and more, it is even easier for members to exercise. Much of the equipment has been donated by the Knoxville Recreation Center.