CHAPEL HILL - Marshall County's Emergency Medical Service moved from its long-time location across from the police and fire departments one month ago. Eight days from now, the EMS is hosting an open house.
"It was built for the future," Emergency Medical Technician Chris Carlough said on a recent morning as he and Randall Young, a paramedic and death scene investigator, awaited calls during their shift in the new building. "It can accommodate four people."
Beyond four bedrooms and two bathrooms to house an expanded crew someday, the new ambulance station has a second garage bay for when the service posts another vehicle at the station near Chapel Hill Elementary School.
"We spend a lot of time away from home," Carlough said. "It's nice to have accommodations like this."
EMS Director James Whorley said the open house starts with a ribbon cutting at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday, Aug. 1.
"Come and see that it's not got water around it," Whorley said in a reference to controversial photographs that showed stormwater around the building before fill dirt was added toward completion of the building's landscaping.
Whorley thanked Marshall County commissioners and the Chapel Hill Board of Mayor and Aldermen for funding the building. The land was donated by Murfreesboro-based land developers and Realtors Howard Wall and his wife, Sally, who own a home here, too. Their planned commercial and residential development embraces the south and west sides of the elementary school.
While built on donated land, the ambulance station's construction by J.R. Warren, contractor, of Shelbyville delivered a structure that was modified to fit the county's budget.
"The project, to date, came to $324,178 and the Town of Chapel Hill paid $125,000 of the construction cost," according to Freda Terry, the county's director of accounts and budgets.
Whorley said, "They did an excellent job, as did Lawrence brothers who did most of the plumbing and electrical work."
And so, as the ambulance crews settle in at their new quarters, there's home cooking at the stationhouse kitchen where Carlough brags on his wife's recipe for Italian pot roast. Lena Carlough's recipe and cooking lessons from her mother-in-law, Ida Marie, served the EMT well when he cooked at headquarters recently.
"He's a good cook," Young said, acknowledging ambulance station life is like working at a fire hall where spicy chili reigns supreme.
Meanwhile, an ambulance will be posted at the 33rd annual tractor pull here at Forrest School.