Protect Together

The Kernersville Engine Company 44 &Beeson Crossroads Station 26 Merger

by Ronald A. Boles, Jr. – Deputy Chief of Operations for Kernersville Fire and Rescue

June 27, 2023, a groundbreaking that kicked off a long-awaited project that would unite two public service agencies; a project of building a station that would accommodate the personnel of both to better serve the citizens of Forsyth County. This project has been in the works for over seven years. On March 8, 2016, then Fire Chief, Chris Langham, reached out to Herb Swaim (then Fire Chief of Beeson Crossroads Fire Department) in an email to officially establish early discussions of Kernersville and Beeson Crossroads co-habitating and jointly serving both communities from one location. The Kernersville Fire Department needed a new fire station to house these firefighters and apparatus, one that could accommodate the necessities of the day-to-day operations. The Beeson Crossroads Fire Station, located exactly one mile up the road seemed like a good solution, but how could it work?

Through the years, from Chief Langham’s email in 2016 to 2019, administration from both agencies discussed the co-habitation of the Kernersville Fire Rescue firefighters and the Beeson’s Crossroads firefighters. In 2019 both agencies experienced administration changes, but the new leaders shared the thought that co-habitation is the most logical solution to better serve the communities. Many discussions led to the decision to move the Kernersville Fire Rescue personnel to the Beeson Crossroads Fire Station on May 30, 2022. Proceeding this decision, Fire Chief Scott Hampton and Deputy Chief Ronne Boles met to establish and develop a joint operations agreement. This agreement details the operations of both departments in various situations from emergency response to routine daily tasks.

The decision to cohabitate did not come without the consideration of logistical renovation needs to the Beeson Crossroads Fire Station. For example: a larger kitchen, individual bunk rooms to accommodate more personnel, more office space, training, and many more fire house necessities. The Town of Kernersville Board of Alderman, Mayor, and Town Manager along with the Board of Directors of the Beeson Crossroads Fire Department supported the need to renovate or build a new station that could support the change. Beeson Crossroads Fire Chief Scott “Hippie” Hampton along with Kernersville Fire Rescue Deputy Chief Ronnie Boles began the process of laying out a floor plan that could accommodate both agencies and their separate needs, while maintaining unity between the two. Many hours of meetings discussing the layout and planning for the future growth, produced a logical and practical floor plan design that would meet the objectives of both agencies. An RFQ was sent out publicly in August of 2022, detailing the project background, location, objectives, design, scope of work, project budget, and the anticipated schedule. Samet Corporation with Creech & Associates was selected for the project. After negotiations, further design and contracts signed, the project was officially under way. The design adds 4,252 square feet, that includes new bunk rooms, laundry room, additional bathrooms, mechanical, I.T. rooms, storage, and a unified kitchen and day room. The renovation of the existing 7,325 square ft. station, produced a new updated training room, decontamination room with a gear washer and dryer, a turnout gear storage area that is climate controlled and secluded from the exhaust fumes of the apparatus bay. This renovation also adds an updated plymo-vent system that extracts the apparatus exhaust from the bay area and filters it through the system before exhausting it into the atmosphere. This creates a much healthier and cleaner environment in the bay area. The bay area is being renovated with new energy efficient bay doors, a new epoxy bay floor and some fresh new paint. The entire station was updated to meet current fire codes with a new alarm system and sprinkler system throughout. A new complex station alerting system was added that has the ability to alert the firefighters from Beeson Crossroads Fire Dept separately from the Kernersville Fire Rescue personnel. The system also has the ability to alert everyone at the same time. The station was converted to 3-phase power and the lights were converted to LED making it more energy efficient enabling us to use the existing generator, saving money on the build project and the monthly utility costs.

There has been a lot of thought and planning poured into this project. I can honestly say that the services provided to the community was always at the forefront of every conversation. The dedication of the leadership from Beeson Crossroads Fire Department, the Kernersville Fire Rescue Department in collaboration with the Beeson Crossroads Board of Directors, and the Town of Kernersville Board of Alderman led to the cohabitation and ultimately renovating one building to serve both communities more efficiently and effectively.

Through the years since the first email in 2016, there has been some administration changes at Kernersville Fire Rescue as well as Beeson Crossroads Fire Department, but the overall objective of jointly serving the citizens of both communities remains constant. Because of the unending support from the previously mentioned public officials, I am proud to say this project was completed in June of 2024.

Grand Opening / Open House

August 3, 2024 AT 10:00am – 1105 Old Salem Rd, Kernersville, NC 27284

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