Construction officially begins on new Awendaw fire station

Construction officially begins on new Awendaw fire station
A sign marks the spot of Awendaw fire station No. 7. (Source: Awendaw Fire Department)

AWENDAW, S.C. (WCSC) - Construction has officially started on a new fire station in the Awendaw area.

It’s been in the works for years.

The station will be the seventh fire station for the Awendaw-McClellanville Fire District, and it’s going to be at 1477 Guerins Bridge Road, which is near Charleston Zipline Adventures.

The purpose of this fire station is to provide better coverage to people living on or near Paradise Island, Woodville, and Guerins Bridge Road, according to Michael Bowers, a battalion chief with the fire department.

“It’s important to give equal protection to everyone in the district,” Bowers said.

About five years ago, the fire department received a report from the Insurance Services Office (ISO). In it, they found out the insurance rating for the Paradise Island area came in at a class ten, while the rest of the department's coverage was at a four, according to Bowers.

A class-ten rating means the area is considered to have no fire protection. This simply means the closest fire department was too far away in the eyes of the insurance company. For comparison, a class-one rating means an area has the best fire protection.

In response, the fire department set up a temporary station in that area. It’s a tent and an engine, and it all sits on private property.

“Class four is really good for a rural fire department,” Bowers said. “With some improvements we make, we hope to drop to class three.”

The new station will be one story tall with a place for firefighters to sleep. One engine, Charleston County EMS, and a rescue squad will all be stationed there once it opens. It’s set to cost just under $2.4 million.

“It’ll enhance what’s there,” Bowers said. “It’ll be a nice station for the growing area.”

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