Months after completion, Troup County celebrates new fire station building

Published 7:00 am Friday, July 31, 2020

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Approximately four months later than anticipated, the Troup County Fire Department was finally able to show the community its new administration building.

Construction kicked off with the demolition of the old Fire Department Training Center on Hamilton Rd. in LaGrange on July 12, 2019.

The project was finished in the early spring, but due to COVID-19, the county was not able to host a ribbon-cutting until Thursday morning.

“As I stand here before you today, I am struck to reflect on my years as a fire chief,” said TCFD Fire Chief John Ekaitis. “I have been fortunate enough to serve as the chief of several departments’ that have built new fire stations, but being here in front of a fire administration and emergency operations center is extremely unique.”

According to Ekaitis, the EOC brings together experts and state-of-the-art technology to coordinate resources, information and crisis communication to strengthen response to public health threats.

During COVID-19, the EOC room has been used for a multiple of things, including being the hub for the COVID-19 hotline.

“As we celebrate the grand opening of our facility this morning, I want to reflect on our mission here at Troup County Fire Department,” Ekaitis said.

“To protect the lives and property of our citizens and to provide effective and efficient delivery of emergency services and bond with our community by involving them in fire education, prevention and protection. We take pride in representing our department, our families and our community. This new facility is a bold reflection of our commitment.”

Ekaitis said the motto for TCFD is, “Not perfect. But nothing less than excellence.”

Multiple members of the staff were involved with the planning and design of the new building.

“My name is on the dedication plaque because am the fire chief for the TCFD, and I am truly honored,” Ekaitis said.

“But, the real staff members were here before me. It was their vision, their forethought for the needs of the fire department, their presentations for the proposed SPLOST projects and their dedication to the TCFD is what has made this possible.”

Ekaitis recognized Deputy Chief Dennis Knight and Deputy Chief Kenneth Norred for their part in making the building come to fruition.

The fire department and representatives from the county used the new Emergency Hydraulic Rescue Tool to cut an old fire hose, in replace of a ribbon, in front of the building to celebrate the opening.