On Monday, May 7, at 3:00 p.m., Albemarle County government officials joined community stakeholders at the official ribbon cutting ceremony for the new Pantops Public Safety Station 16.
The ceremony took place at the new station on Peter Jefferson Parkway. The program included remarks by Norman Dill, Vice Chair of the Albemarle County Board of Supervisors; Jeff Richardson, Albemarle County Executive; and Dan Eggleston, Albemarle County Fire Rescue Chief; among others. The remarks were followed by a “push-in” of a rescue vehicle and a ribbon cutting. The larger community was invited to participate in an open house from 4:00 – 6:00 p.m. to tour the facility and visit with staff from the new station.
County Fire Rescue has identified the Pantops area as a priority for improved services as a result strong residential and commercial growth over the past several years. The Pantops area has a high volume of calls for service relative to population, largely driven by demographics – with over 600 dwelling units of progressive care, assisted living, and independent living, over a quarter of Pantops residents are over the age of 65. When calls for service originating from the Pantops area are received, crews from East Rivanna Volunteer Fire Department and surrounding departments respond. Due to long travel distance, and despite Pantops’ urban location, current response times to the Pantops area do not meet Fire Rescue’s urban response time goal of an average of five minutes.
To begin to address this, in 2013 Fire Rescue received funding from the Board of Supervisors for three EMS positions to staff an ambulance at Sentara Martha Jefferson Hospital during daytime hours. The Pantops Public Safety Station will provide a permanent home for the existing daytime ambulance service at Pantops to better meet the needs of staff to respond to calls for service, and allow for future expansion of services. Land for the station was generously donated land by Worrell Land and Development.
“The Pantops Public Safety Station represents a demonstration of the Board’s commitment to the fire rescue system and to the rescue service at Pantops, by providing a permanent home to the ambulance that had been previously operating out of Sentara Martha Jefferson Hospital. On behalf of the Board of Supervisors and our neighbors in the Pantops area, I’d like to express our sincere gratitude to Sentara Martha Jefferson Hospital for their many years of partnership.” said Norman Dill, Vice Chair of the Albemarle County Board of Supervisors. “I’d also like to thank Anne Worrell and the Worrell Land and Development for donating the land for the project, which saved the County several million dollars in land acquisition costs.”
“The Pantops Public Safety Station will be a true amenity for the Pantops community,” said Dan Eggleston, Albemarle County Fire Rescue Chief. “The on-site provision of Emergency Medical Services offered at the new station will bring significant benefits to our residents and businesses and help improve response times in the Pantops area.”
The Pantops Public Safety Station is a 9,880 SF facility with three apparatus bays (two for fire engines or rescue vehicles and one for an ambulance or small rescue vehicle) and support facilities to accommodate 13 personnel, including office, training, equipment, and bunk space. The project was designed during 2016 with input from Fire Rescue personnel. Construction ran from March 2017 thru March 2018.
To ensure the project’s success, the Board of Supervisors directed the creation of a work group comprised of community representatives to develop the mission and vision for a station embedded in the community through intentional partnerships.
County of Albemarle