Rural Metro broke ground today for a new fire hall in North Knox County on Norman Jack Lane between Halls and Powell near Tennova North. Fire Chief Jerry Harnish says the new station is “visible evidence of the growth of this area.”
The new station, expected to open in March 2018, will be Rural Metro’s 17th in Knox County and its largest at over 10,000 square feet. The station will be built and owned by Justin and Catherine Ellis and leased back to Rural Metro.
Harnish said stations in both Halls (Norris Freeway) and Powell (Beaver Creek Drive) will remain. “We are glad to make this million-dollar plus investment,” Harnish said. “This will improve response times, which should mean a lower ISO rating and reduced insurance rates for home and businesses.”
The new fire hall will have a mix of new and transferred equipment. Gear will include a 75-foot ladder truck and a rescue truck to handle auto accidents. Areas that should see a quicker response time include Sterchi Hills, Shadow Creek and Mount Royal subdivisions as well as areas around Bishop Road and I-75 at Emory.
Nick Cancerni, associate pastor of Sharon Baptist Church, gave the invocation and Mayor Tim Burchett introduced officials, including Sheriff Jimmy “J.J.” Jones, Register of Deeds Sherry Witt, school board chair Patti Bounds, and county commissioners Charles Busler, Carson Dailey, Michele Carringer and John Schoonmaker. State Rep. Bill Dunn also attended.
Rural Metro Fire is a private fire department servicing most of Knox County outside the city of Knoxville through contracts with property owners for service.