Ringgold, VA - Chief Michael Neal has vivid memories of December 30, 2001 - the night his old station went up in flames."It's like your own house burning up. We lived in there, and the fire department is like a family. It was tough. Never would have dreamed that we'd be where we are today, " he said.
After rebuilding in 2002, the station has grown to be one of the largest in the county, and they are adding six new bays to accommodate their emergency vehicles.
"A rescue is a pretty big operation here now, " said Bobby Jean Atkinson, the department's board chairman.
The chairman also says the new addition cost $200,000, which will come from the department's budget as well as money received through community support.
"We can thank the public, the community for their support, because without them, it would have never happened, " Atkinson said.
Now they hope Supervisors will approve funds for them to acquire a ladder truck to better serve industrial buildings throughout the area in an emergency.
After all, being the best that they can be for the community is their top priority.
"At the end of the day, when people dial 911, they want you to show up and come and be trained to do the best that you can do, and that's what we strive for," Neal said.
Right now, the closest ladder truck to the Ringgold community is in Chatham. The crew says the addition should be complete within the next few weeks.