New road, new fire trucks for North Knox County

Sandra ClarkHalls, Powell

State and county officials were at Rural Metro Station 36 on Monday, dedicating two new fire trucks. One will be permanently stationed at the Halls firehall near Norris Freeway and the other will be housed at the Powell station just off Clinton Highway.

Station 36, located on Bishop Road near I-75 at Emory, got a new truck when it opened a couple of years ago.

This shot from Bishop Road shows the new pavement, stormwater infrastructure and traffic signal at Emory Road. The Rural Metro firehall is the red building at right.

Also, on Monday, most of us were introduced to the new alignment of Bishop Road in front of RM Station 36. Knox County Engineering and Public Works extended Bishop Road onto what was previously called Norman Jack Lane, installed stormwater infrastructure, and created a new intersection with a traffic signal. The project was 100% county-funded at $1,816,207.50, which is $100,000 under budget, according to Mike Donila.

The fire trucks cost almost $500,000 each and came fully equipped. In keeping with tradition, firefighters at Halls and Powell pushed their new truck into the firehall. Somebody on social media asked, “Wouldn’t it be easier just to back them in?”

And somebody else explained the tradition dates back to the days when fire trucks were pulled by horses. Firemen had to push the truck back into the firehall every time it was used since horses don’t do “reverse.”

Each new truck contains sparkly new equipment.

Captain Jeff Bagwell stressed that no tax money was used to purchase the new trucks. Rural Metro is subscription-based. The local company is headed by Fire Chief Jerry Harnish. It is part of Global Medical Response which also owns AMR, which provides emergency ambulance service for all of Knox County.

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