Effingham County EMS has a new place to call home in Rincon.
After renting space near Rincon Elementary School, EMS moved at the end of December into a new two-story building off Goshen Road Extension. The station is being staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week by two paramedics at a time, according to EMS Director Wanda McDuffie.
“I foresee our future is to stay right there,” McDuffie said.
The nearly 10,000-square-foot building next to Goshen Crossing Apartments is shared by EMS and the Rincon Fire Department, and also includes space for an Effingham County Sheriff’s Office substation. The station is designed to last for 50 years, said Rincon Fire Chief Corey Rahn.
The first floor is office space and the second floor has four bedrooms for the fire department and four for EMS. There are also a common training room, laundry room and kitchen/dining area. The 40-by-80-foot vehicle bay is large enough to house two fire trucks and at least two ambulances.
“The building was designed to meet today’s needs as well as the future needs, so that we don’t have to go back and add on,” said Adam Kobek, Effingham County’s director of community relations.
The Rincon Fire Department will man the Goshen station with one person from 7 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday-Friday while continuing to serve that area with its base of volunteer firefighters, Rahn said. Sheriff’s deputies will use the substation as needed, according to ECSO spokesman Detective David Ehsanipoor.
“It’s just another place where deputies can go to complete paperwork and use facilities,” Ehsanipoor said. “It will save time for deputies, as well as save gas by not having to drive to Springfield and back.”
The public safety building was paid for with special purpose local option sales tax revenue and public safety impact fees, Kobek said. He added that the project came in a few thousand dollars under its approximately $1.5 million budget after the county spent less money than expected on items such as carpeting, irrigation and utilities relocation.
“This is our first building that is a combined station,” Kobek said. “That partnership has worked out well so far.”
The new fire station is the latest step by the Rincon Fire Department to reduce the district’s ISO (Insurance Services Office) rating, which would lower some property owners’ insurance rates. The rating is based on criteria such as on how well the fire department responds to fire alarms and dispatches its fire-fighting resources, the number of engine companies and the amount of water a community needs to fight a fire, and the extent of training firefighters have received.
“Our ultimate plan for the city of Rincon,” Rahn said, “is you want everybody in your district to be within a mile-and-a-half of a station.”
The Rincon Fire Department recently became the first department in Georgia to pass the ISO test for laying a 6,000-foot hose to fight a fire, meaning they can fight fires more than a mile away from the nearest hydrant or other water source, Rahn said.
“This (station) is just the next piece of the puzzle,” he said.
“It’s always good when you can provide better coverage and you can help with insurance in some cases,” Kobek said.