CONWAY, SC (WMBF) - Your safety is the number one priority for our local firefighters and police. In an effort to best serve you, the City of Conway is opening a brand new safety building to house our local departments.
This is the first time police, fire and emergency management will all function under one roof.
The fire station is 50 years old, the police station is more than 40 years. As the city grows, both departments continue to grow. In fact, the Conway Police Department has more than doubled in size. Conway Fire has their administration working all over the area. This new building will become the centralized hub for all the departments.
The entire first floor of the building will be for fire; they'll even answer fire calls from there. The second floor will be for police. This new building will give our first responders a more functional space and a central location inside the city.
It's bigger and better, as the chief of fire and police both say. According to them, it will only strengthen their working relationship.
"We're back and forth each other, all the time, discussing various public safety needs for the city, so it's just a natural blend for the city to have us in one building,” said Conway Police Chief Reggie Gosnell.
Being under one roof makes communication split seconds between police and fire, which saves on their response time in getting to you in an emergency.
The building is located in the core of the city. It's much closer to where police see the largest calls for service. Officers will now have quicker access to the main arteries of Conway: US-501 and 378.
Faster response time for police and fire means more protection for you.
The building also stands on higher ground, so when emergencies happen, like flooding and weather concerns, it shouldn't be an issue getting out to the community. When those situations do occur, like the terrible winter storms we experienced last year, this building will become an emergency operations center for the city.
This same space can also be used for training.
Both Conway fire and police chiefs say they hope this building will strengthen the community as a whole.
"As we're trying to continue to build out our community watch groups and build that coalition with our citizens, it's a great place to host our community watch meetings and other events that would invite the public in,” Chief Gosnell said.
“This will help us get to that level where we can operate more efficiently, the buildings laid out more efficiently, so everything should work great for us,” said Conway Fire Chief Ricky Baker.
Despite a slight delay in opening due to weather, the plan is to move into the building mid to late November.