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Hallsville rescue crews attain new home

By Sherry Koonce
Nov. 14, 2012 at 10 p.m.

HALLSVILLE - Construction is underway for a new emergency services building that will not only house the city's ambulance service, but will also provide added storage space for volunteer firefighters.

The 54,000-square-foot building at 105 E. Main St. adjoins the city's fire department.

Harrison County Emergency Services District No. 5 is funding the $300,000 expenditure to remodel the existing building.

The building has long been a rental, and was last used as a tire store, said Aaron Cain, Harrison County ESD No. 5 board president.

The interior has been gutted in the steel-frame building.

According to Cain, the ESD appointed a board to plan construction, and settled on the building because of its location.

"It adjoins our existing fire station on the back side of the building and provides frontage from Highway 80 on the south side," Cain said.

Champion EMS will rent the building for $1,500 a month, said Stan Holden, Champion EMS chief executive officer.

Gary Wellborn, a member of the planning committee, said the majority of the space will be used as offices and sleeping areas for ambulance personnel. The remaining footage will not be finished out, but will provide adequate storage space for Hallsville's Volunteer Fire Department.

Champion EMS offices are in the existing fire station, where there are no accommodations for full-time staffing.

"It has been pretty cramped, this past year," Holden said.

Champion serves Hallsville and the surrounding area in Harrison County Emergency Services Districts 1 and 5.

Champion's service area runs from almost east of the city limits of Longview to the western boundary of Marshall.

Champion services 40 to 50 calls from the two districts each month out of the Hallsville office, Holden said.

The company has been in Hallsville for about a year.

Cain called the move is a "win-win situation."

"This is taking a building that is in town, giving it a fresh new look, and just making the buildings look better in town. It will provide ambulance service a long-term place, so it will be readily accessible to help citizens," Cain said.

Wellborn said he expects the building to be completed sometime in February.



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