New fire station will mean better service for Sugar Hill

SUGAR HILL - A new Gwinnett County Fire Station in Sugar Hill will shorten the emergency response times for residents in that area and decrease insurance rates, fire officials said.

A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held Monday to mark the official opening of Station 26 at 6075 Suwanee Dam Road. The new location will shave several minutes off the previous average emergency response time of nine minutes for the Sugar Hill area. It will also reduce fire insurance costs for local homeowners and businesses, said Lt. Thomas Rutledge, spokesman for the Gwinnett County Fire Department.

"Homeowners need to make sure their insurance carrier is aware that now there is a fire station operating in their community," Rutledge said.

Previously, fire and emergency services calls in the Sugar Hill area were handled by Station 14 in Buford or Station 13 in Suwanee.

Station 26 is a two-bay facility which will be staffed by a crew of 12 firefighters - four firefighters per 24-hour shift. It will serve an area of roughly 20 square miles in Sugar Hill, including portions of Buford Dam, Lanier Harbor and East Bank Park on Lake Lanier, said Rutledge. The building includes office space, a workout room, kitchen, bunk room, apparatus bay and storage area.

"We're excited. It's a special day in the history of the Fire Department to be able to expand our services and open new fire stations," Rutledge said.

Two more groundbreakings will be scheduled soon for Station 27 at Old Fountain Road and Jim Moore Road in Dacula and for the relocation of Station 8 directly behind its current spot on Ga. Highway 20 in Grayson. Station 8 is being moved due to the widening of Ga. 20.