Fire Chief Keith Sanders, City Manager Eden Freeman, Councilmembers Melody Kelley and John Paulson, Mayor Rusty Paul and Councilmembers Melissa Mular and Andy Bauman toss dirt in the groundbreaking ceremony. (Bob Pepalis)

Sandy Springs broke ground for its new Fire Station 5 at 7800 Mount Vernon Road in the city’s eastern panhandle on Thursday.

Mayor Rusty Paul said the new fire station is designed to reach the homes in the city’s District 1 more effectively. He said a fire station is about a mile from his house, and he wishes it was closer.

“Because when you need those first responders, the sweetest sound you will hear is a siren because you know that help is on the way,” he said.

Paul said the city will try to be a good neighbor to the surrounding community and be as quiet as possible when responding to emergencies.

The city had looked at other locations but none of them were appropriate, said Councilmember John Paulson, who represents District 1. The geography of the panhandle has made meeting response times of eight minutes or less difficult, he said. As the mayor said, timing is critical in responding to a problem.

“You’ve had fires in this area that, in spite of their best efforts, by the time the fire department comes, the building is engulfed and essentially too late to save,” he said.

Paulson said he can’t wait for the new fire station to be finished.

“It’s also the first truly new location for a fire station in Sandy Springs,” he said.

Fire Station 2, which recently opened, was rebuilt at the same location on the corner of Johnson Ferry Road and Sandy Springs Circle.

“The people in this community deserve [the most] responsive services we can give them and that’s what this does,” Paulson said.

Reeves Young was the contractor awarded the contract to build the fire station, which will resemble a residential property to follow requests from nearby neighborhoods that it blends in with the area.

Councilmember John Paulson said the location of the new fire station will enable the Sandy Springs Fire Department to respond more quickly to emergency calls in the eastern panhandle. (Bob Pepalis)

Bob Pepalis

Bob Pepalis covers Sandy Springs for Rough Draft Atlanta and Reporter Newspapers.