Fire department gets new look

Published 8:26 am Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Special to the Daily News

The Pantego Volunteer Fire Department is getting a new look — and a new addition.
The department’s main building now has a 60-foot-by-50-foot addition. Sections of the older building that were in disrepair have been removed. The remaining parts of the older building are undergoing further renovations.
C.A. Singleton Construction was the general contractor for the new addition. Coastal Clearing and Grading did the site preparation before construction began. TJ’s Marine Construction did work on the parking lot and removed parts of the older building. The N.C. Department of Transportation will provide some help with paving the area in front of the building.
Department members raised some project funds through a variety of fundraising events and sources. The majority of project funds came from the fire district’s fire tax. Other income sources included local businesses and a matching grant from the N.C. Office of the State Fire Marshal’s volunteer fire department grant program.
Chris Rouse, the department’s assistant chief and a member of its board of directors, said department members had been planning for a new building for a long time.
“Our design process for a new building began about 10 years ago. We have investigated every possible way to update our facilities. We finally decided to revamp our existing facilities and add on as a means of conserving money and maintaining a prime location in our district for response. The construction effort began in June, and external construction should be completed by the end of November. Any internal modifications that we make should be done within the next six months,” he said.
For the department to receive some funding for the project, the Town of Pantego had to transfer ownership of the property to the department. The department worked with the N.C. Division of Water Quality and Coastal Area Management Act guidelines to make sure the project layout of the property met state requirements.
The department has 35 firefighters on its roster and 10 junior firefighters. Twenty of the members are certified in live-fire training, and six firefighters are certified at Level I and Level II training.
Once the project is completed, the department plans to have an open house so the public may view the changes.