SWEPCO do­nates land for Gen­try Fire Depart­ment sta­tion, he­li­pad

Westside Eagle-Observer - - FRONT PAGE - STAFF RE­PORTS

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.

West­side Ea­gle Ob­server/MIKE ECKELS

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.

SWEPCO COUR­TESY PHOTO

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.

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