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Rural Metro fire hall proposed for Choto
Fire truck temporarily stationed at Concord Marina

A fire truck is slated to be a permanent fixture at Concord Marina in Concord Park as plans to build a fire station to service the Choto area are fired up.

Knox County Commissioner Mike Hammond (District 5) announced Monday, Oct. 27, that Rural Metro had agreed to station the truck at the marina “to respond to calls in the Choto area.”

Hammond said residents in the Choto area contacted him more than a year ago about their insurance rates being higher due to the nearest fire stations being located off Campbell Station Road, Parkside Drive and Watt Road.

“I have had several meetings with Rural Metro over the past few months and they have been very responsive,” Hammond said. “Placing a fire truck at the Concord Marina and training the staff to respond to a fire could help save property and lives in addition to helping rates go down.”

This would be a first-response unit until additional units could respond depending on the need.

Rural Metro Fire Chief Jerry Harnish said the truck would be a Class A engine.

“It would have a full compliment of medical equipment,” he said. “It will take us some time to get the crew trained to respond to every type of emergency. Obviously, we are going to start with the basics and increase the repertory as quickly as we can.”

Harnish added, “We have four guys who are year-round employees at the marina who are going to go through Recruit Fire Training. They are going to staff the engine until we can locate a permanent facility down on Northshore [Drive] somewhere.”

Harnish said the engine would operate out of a newly formed Station 42, which would remain with the engine when a permanent site was established. The Choto area currently is being served by Station 16 off Blue Grass Road, with support from Station 11 off Campbell Station Road and Station 214 off Watt Road. Watt Road is equipped with a low-profile engine enabling it to pass through the underpass on Boyd Station Road.

The Choto area remains outside a five-mile radius of any fire station and thus the area is categorized as being unprotected as far as fire insurance standards dictate.

“Having anything down there, even if it were a fairly minimal operation, would be a huge improvement over what [Choto residents] are paying in insurance premiums today,” Harnish said.

“Placing the fire truck at the marina is just the first step,” Hammond added. “I am working with [Knox County] Mayor [Mike] Ragsdale and his staff to identify property in the area to build a permanent station. It is my hope we can do that in the next few months.”

Knox County owns some parcels of land in the Choto area.


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