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Smith Mountain Lake Marine Volunteer Fire Rescue breaks ground on new fire station

The new station will serve as the home for the department - something they currently operate without
Published: Jan. 14, 2021 at 6:28 PM EST
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MONETA, Va. (WDBJ) - A sign can be seen from Smith Mountain Lake, signaling a new step for the future.

Smith Mountain Lake Volunteer Fire Rescue broke ground Thursday on its new fire station.

Sitting on about six acres of land near Bridgewater Marina, Chief Todd Ohlerich says the building has been long overdue.

“Fifteen years ago we thought we were getting closer, but, you know, it took a little bit longer since we are funding it ourselves through the community’s support,” said Ohlerich.

That support is to the tune of $300,000.

Ohlerich says that price tag will help give them a central location for storage.

“We have storage units everywhere and equipment everywhere. To be able to have all our equipment in one location, especially when an emergency arises, we’ll be able to know exactly where it is,” said Ohlerich.

But how will this impact their heart and soul, the boats?

“We’re not moving fire boats. Fire boats will stay where they are,” said Ohlerich. “Hopefully, eventually, we’ll build docks out here and we’ll be able to maybe by then have an extra boat that we can station here full time.”

But for Ohlerich and others, it’s baby steps for now as the new headquarters becomes a reality.

“To see it finally coming about, it’s hard to explain how I feel,” said John Honaker, deputy chief.

Ohlerich says they hope to have much of the progress done by the end of the year.

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