A year after it first broke ground, the Town of Fort Mill Fire Department dedicated its second Fire Station during a private ceremony last Thursday.

Town officials and firefighters gathered for the opening ceremony at the new fire station, located at 1245 Fort Mill Parkway across from Catawba Ridge High School. Local residents and the media were not invited.

The ceremony included remarks from Fire Chief Chipper Wilkerson, Mayor Guynn Savage and Town Manager Davy Broom, and a Hose Uncoupling ceremony to commemorate the occasion, according to a press release issued on Monday.

According to the press release, Savage praised the new station for its ability to boost the town’s emergency response coverage and improve the ISO (Insurance Services Office) rating for town residents in the surrounding area. She also highlighted how much of the cost for the new station was paid by impact fees from new construction, a sign of how “growth pays for growth,” the press release said.

“Thank you to our firefighters and first responders. A building is just a building, but with you making this your home, you are ready, willing and able to be there for all of us in our worst moments. You serve us 24-7 every day. You carry forward a love and commitment to our community,” Savage said. “You are our heroes, our teammates, our family. Welcome home to Fort Mill’s Fire Station number two.”

Wilkerson told the crowd he was proud to add a critical piece of infrastructure to the Town and said the new station is a testament to Fort Mill Town Council’s focus on public safety, according to the press release.

Other benefits, Wilkerson noted, include more bay space to house reserve apparatus and specialty equipment, increased office space for the Fire Marshal’s office, space to allow for a backup town Emergency Operations Center in the event Town Hall is affected by a disaster, and the addition of a Fort Mill Police Department substation.

Broom called the new station a “beautiful and well-designed facility,” and thanked all those who were involved in its creation, including Pace Development Group for their land donation for the site, ADW Architects for their design work and construction management, and Southern Builders for constructing the building.

“I asked Chief Wilkerson what his department’s number one goal was and his response was responding to emergencies in our community,” Broom said, according to a press release. “The addition of this station along Fort Mill Parkway will provide our first responders and public safety officers avenues to better serve our community’s needs and for that, Chief, I’m excited.”