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New south Forsyth fire station 12th in operation

SOUTH FORSYTH -- The dark red, arched doors opened smoothly, beckoning Engine 6 into Station No. 6’s expansive bay.

The smell of fresh paint still hung in the air, just hours before Forsyth County’s 12th fire station was put to use for the first time.

On Thursday afternoon, after about a year of work, Forsyth County Fire Station 6, which is located on Brookwood Road in south Forsyth, opened.

The station serves as an Advanced Life Support, or ALS, location in addition to an engine truck.

“It has a full-time paramedic and basically all the equipment you’d fund on an ambulance, minus the stretcher,” said Division Chief Barry Head, a spokesman for the department. “They’ve missed six calls already [Thursday]; it’s going to be a busy fire station.”

With Forsyth County’s increasing population — about 4 percent from 2014 to 2015 — Station 6 is the first of two new to open.

The location staffs three firefighters around the clock — a lieutenant, a sergeant and usually a paramedic firefighter.

The building includes an office for lieutenants and another office for a battalion chief, who Head said will come at a later date.

“We hired the new staff last year,” Head said. “It takes about a year to train them, and this [location] will be staffed with veteran firefighters. We do have one new guy here — he’s the paramedic.”

Though all county fire stations are built following roughly the same architectural design, Station 6 boasts new doors, which Head said is the station’s centerpiece. “This is the first station we’ve used these doors,” he said. “When we were first told the cost, I was like, we’ll never do that.

But we spend so much money on damaged doors and maintenance of them that over the life of the building, these will more than pay for themselves.

“We have two basic designs for [stations,] the four-bay and the two-bay designs. We built the two-bay design during the downturn in the economy and what we’ve learned is we really should have stuck with the four-bay design. The bay refers to how many apparatuses there are.”

Stations are now built to last 50 years, Head said, and the second-most recent location, Station 3, opened in 2013.

Another new station, Station 8, is expected to open in April.

A grand opening celebration for Station 6 will be held on Monday, March 27 at 2 p.m.