SWEPCO donates land for Gentry Fire Department station, helipad
GENTRY — The Gentry Fire Department will soon add a helipad to its Fire Station No. 2 on land donated by Southwestern Electric Power Co., which coowns and operates the nearby Flint Creek Power Plant.
SWEPCO donated one acre of land to the city of Gentry in 2012 for construction of a new fire station at the intersection of Taylor Orchard Road and Marion Lee Road. The four-bay station was completed in 2015. A second acre was donated in 2017 for future construction of a helipad.
“The addition of this muchneeded substation was a key factor in improving our ISO Rating (Insurance Service Office) as part of our ongoing attempt to provide excellent fire and EMS services to the entire Gentry Fire District and to strengthen our mutual aid capabilities throughout Benton County,” said Gentry Mayor Kevin Johnston. “The additional acre will provide a safe and readily accessible landing and loading location for air ambulances in the case of any necessary rapid transport to medical facilities to provide patient care for those who may have suffered from a traumatic injury, potential threat of loss of life or limb, or even stroke. AEP SWEPCO is a true community
partner and has been a long-time supporter of the Gentry community,” Johnston said.
“We’re pleased to provide a strategic resource that helps the city of Gentry continue its commitment to excellence in fire and EMS operations,” said Flint Creek Plant Manager Carl Handley. “It’s a privilege to partner with the city on this project that contributes to the safety, health and quality of life in such a great community.”
Flint Creek is a 516-megawatt coal-fueled power plant serving coowners AEP SWEPCO and Arkansas Electric Cooperative Corp. (AECC). SWEPCO operates the plant.
Workers prepare to sand the floor in the new gym at Decatur Middle School on Sept. 19. The gym is expected to be ready for the Lady Bulldogs’ final home volleyball match in October.
Visiting the Gentry Fire Station No. 2 and a new helipad site are (from left) firefighter Jeff Parks, Flint Creek Power Plant manager Carl Handley, Gentry Fire Chief Vester Cripps, firefighter Charlie Kelm, Gentry Mayor Kevin Johnston and SWEPCO external affairs manager Jeff Milford.