The process of rebounding from the massive damage has been slow, but the 150 plus attendance at the event showed, once again, what everyone who lives in this community already knows, Sharp County is a community of fine people who come together to support one another. The open house was no exception. Members of the Spring River Area Chamber of Commerce businesses, along with elected officials such as Sharp County Judge Larry Brown, Gene Moore, OEM coordinator and the man who was handed the reins just days before the horrific event, along with mayors from both Cherokee Village and Highland as well as city council members and aldermen were all present to tour the facility. Larry Bronson, the architect who designed the fire house and Gerald Provence, the contractor for the facility were also present.
Highland Fire Chief Stephen Davis was also presented a check for $200 by the Lion's Club to assist with needs for the fire department. Following the presentation, the large group moved outside into the icy wind for the Chamber's blue ribbon welcome. The group of attendees representing the chamber was so large; it was hard to get them all into the photo. After the ribbon was cut, the Boy Scout's presented the American and Arkansas flags and raised them over the station.
The crowd was pleased to witness Chief Davis present the boy scouts with a defibulator. Davis said because the local boy scout camp Kia Kima is so far out, he felt they needed to have one in case of an emergency at the camp. The American Red Cross bloodmobile was also present and had a good turnout.
The new facility is located in the heart of Highland on Highway 62/412 and is undoubtedly the pride of the city. The inside offers a large room for training purposes and events as well as a full kitchen, laundry facilities, offices, upstairs storage and a four bay garage for their equipment. The Highland Fire Department is currently volunteer based, but Chief Davis said in the event they ever become paid and a full-time person is required at the facility, there will be no need to add anything on, as one of the larger office areas in the middle could even be converted to a lounge type setting if the need be. He said he is very pleased with the facility and looks forward to offering more training to local firefighters at the new facility.