Two Community Rescue Service ambulance units to occupy Former Antietam Fire Co.

June 23, 2013|By C.J. LOVELACE |
  • Former Antietam Fire Co.
File Photo

The former Summit Avenue station of Hagerstown’s Antietam Fire Co., which moved to Potomac Avenue in the city’s North End late last year, soon will be occupied by two Community Rescue Service ambulance units.

Dave Hays, assistant chief of CRS, said Thursday that the company plans to move into the recently vacated space in about 90 days, aiming for late September.

Hays said about three months is needed to make some small modifications to the building to improve the living quarters inside the station as well as the vehicle bays for the two advanced life support units.

“That really drives the time frame more than anything,” he said. “We’ll have expanded sleeping area for the overnight crews. They’ll have shower/bathroom facilities in the immediate area where they’re at.”

Antietam Fire President Ron Horn said the fire company still owns the property, but plans to sign a long-term lease with CRS to use the station.

“It’s ideal for them and it’s great for downtown Hagerstown,” Horn said. “... It’s a very good relationship.”

Horn said CRS operated a single ambulance out of the dual-bay station for several years in the mid-2000s before Antietam added a special operations truck that required the second bay.

CRS is using its own funds to make changes to the interior of the building, and the exterior will remain unchanged except for one of the bay doors that needs to be widened, Horn said.

Once the station is ready for use, CRS plans to relocate its units that currently run out of Western Enterprise Fire Co., on Washington Avenue, Hays said.

Moving out of the Western Enterprise station frees up more room for firefighters there, he said, much like the ambulance company’s planned move out of Maugansville Goodwill Volunteer Fire Co., to build a new station just off Maugans Avenue near Interstate 81.

“Anything that we free up obviously gives them a little bit more room,” Hays said of both fire companies.

One ALS unit at the Summit Avenue location will be staffed 24 hours a day, while the second ambulance will be in service daily from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., Hays said.

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