By Thomas Sellers Jr.
About 99 percent of the Millington Fire Station 2 located at 7245 Raleigh-Millington Road is brand new.
Last Tuesday several invited guest made their way to the new facility with Millington Fire Chief Gary Graves acting as host for the Hose Uncoupling Ceremony. Graves quickly pointed out the 1 percent that features the storied history of the Millington Fire Department founded in 1903.
“We’re opening up our new Station 2 that’s replacing the Station 2 that’s next door,” he noted. “It was built in 1974. So for the last 45 years we’ve outgrown it and we’re glad to move here into this new station that is almost twice as big as the other station.
“We can house all of our equipment in here,” Graves continued. “We had some things out in the parking lot so now everything is under the roof and protected. We’ve got room to grow. We have four firefighter and our battalion chief housed here. We can extended that. We’ve got room for additional personnel down the line at some point. We have new equipment if needed.”
Among the new equipment in Fire Station 2 are relics and artifacts paying tribute to the previous Fire Station 2, those who made that location possible and the history of the MFD.
Back in 1975 the original Millington Fire Station 2 was named in honor of Thomas L. Goin in recognition of faithful service, outstanding civic leadership and devotion to the city of Millington. Not far away is a photo of the Millington Fire Station that was located on B Street in 1940.
Another picture depicts then Mayor AC Buford Sr. with nearly a dozen volunteer firefighters.
Adjacent to each other are two large plagues recognizing the City of Millington officials from 1975 and now the group of 2020 that help make the facilities possible.
The plaque brought over from the former Fire Station 2 reads Mayor Thomas F. Hall, Fire Chief Gordon B. Armour, Board of Aldermen C.W. Baker, P.A. Dunn, E.G. Haley, G.R. Harvell Jr., C.C. Hollingsworth, W.S. Howard and K.T. Whitlock, architects Mahan and Shappley Architects, Inc., and general contractor Claude Irwin Construction.
Fast forward 45 years, the new plaque recognizes Mayor Terry Jones, City Manager Ed Haley, Fire Chief Gary Graves, Board of Aldermen, Al Bell, Mike Caruthers, John Crisp, Larry Dagen, Bethany Huffman, Don Lowry and Thomas McGhee, architect designship, pllc and general contractor Fulwood Construction Co. LLC.
“The city recognizes the growth going on in Millington,” Graves said. “This is part of that. This is just one project that the city is investing in. The city has other investments with water construction and a water plant. Millington is on the cusp of growing and it takes infrastructure to do that. The city has been great on building that and this is the first step of many.”
Millington’s center of attention around 4 p.m. Oct. 13 was at 7245 Raleigh-Millington Road. The $2.4 million project was handled by Fulwood Construction Co. of Olive Branch, Miss.
At the May 2018 Board of Mayor and Aldermen meeting, the board unanimously adopted a resolution to purchase 2.002 acres from Turner & Edwards LLC for $12,500 an acre. Then at the following March 18 meeting, the Millington Municipal Planning Commission approved a Site Plan prepared by the A2H architectural and engineering firm in Memphis.
Charles Goforth, planning consultant for the city, has said the new station will have brick on the front and south side, but “a good bit of metal” on the north side to allow for future expansion.
With room to grow, Graves’ focus that day was a verbal tour of the new building featuring a tornado safe room that houses the protective gear on a daily basis. The area is built to withstand an F5 tornado.
Other unique enmities (fully functional and multipurpose) of the new station are a kitchen and classroom space, room for physical fitness or community meetings. Its emergency facilities will meet “seismic standards” if an earthquake occurs.
The new station will also have a room equipped as a “backup dispatch center” for the police department, to provide another “answering point” for Millington residents who call 911. The building also houses rescue equipment like boats.
Graves said the men and women of the Millington Fire Department are excited to have all the new features to better serve the public.
“We’re here for them,” he concluded. “This building was built and staffed for them and to serve our city and residents of North Shelby County. We have a lot of people help us do this from our design team, firefighters pitched in and helped do it. It’s been a big team effort to help us get it to where it is today.”