The first Public Health and Safety Building located at 6540 Highway 99 in Rockvale was presented to the community on Sunday, August 27.
The facility will provide 24 hour Fire and Emergency Medical Services response. It can be utilized as a command center in the event of an emergency, serve as a storm shelter and function as a satellite location for vaccinations if needed.
Mayor Joe Carr said, “One Commissioner had the vision years ago for public safety buildings and a full time fire fighting force, that was Pettus Read, and he fought for that vision for years, it’s fitting that Rockvale would be opened first, and it is a testament to the leadership of Pettus Read. I think as we move forward this is but a cornerstone for the other 5 facilities that will come online but it’s an appropriate cornerstone, I’m grateful for the small part I had to play in it. Just so we understand Rutherford County is one of the fastest growing counties in the state, and we have certain responsibilities, and this is part of those responsibilities.”
Public Safety Chairman Commissioner Pettus Read said, “Everything we do we are standing on the shoulders of others who have already accomplished things. We are standing on the shoulders of that original Rockvale Volunteer Firefighter 56 crew.”
Senator Dawn White, State Representative Robert Stevens and Rutherford County Sheriff Mike Fitzhugh joined with local elected officials, community leaders and members of the community participated in the festivities of the day that included tours of the facility, fire engines, Emergency Medical Services units, Vanderbilt University Medical Center’s Life Flight helicopter and refreshments from Kona Ice.
The national anthem was performed by the Rockvale High School Jazz Band.
It was a collaborative effort of county departments to celebrate the first public health and safety building from set up with Facilities Management, Barry Ray, EMS Honor Guard members Josh Wright, Brandon Smith and Clay Jackson and photographer Rutherford County Sheriff’s Deputy Laura Kunce.