ELBA, Ala. (WDHN) — Fort Rucker celebrated a new addition to its public safety department, and the City of Elba welcomed it to town.
The Fort Rucker Directorate of Public Safety held a grand opening for its new fire station facility that is located at Runkle Stagefield in Elba.
The new station marks the second fire station in Elba. The first station was built in 1976 and remains in operation — primarily for aviation rescue firefighting.
“We have the largest fire department in the United States Army,” United States Army Lieutenant Colonel Phil Lenz said. “We’ve got soldiers and we also have civilian firefighters. So, it’s a pretty big entity, and the key piece is them working hand in hand together.”
The new station features several upgrades such as individual bedrooms, an office, a kitchen, a laundry room, and a weight room.
Size marks one of the most important aspects of the structure.
“We’re not having to, you know, cross or use maintenance bays for multi-purposes,” United States Army Garrison Commander Whitney Gardner said. “This allows the firefighters to focus on, you know, maintaining trucks and increasing the readiness of the overall vehicles.”
In addition to size, upgraded equipment is another important to feature.
“The firetruck you see right now in the background, it’s a very specific mission for aviation rescue firefighting,” Lenz said. “It’s a lot bigger a lot more technical again definitely required for this specific mission.”