Open Door Policy
New home of county fire department, EMS station opens for public tours Tuesday
By FAITH HUFFMAN | News-Telegram News Editor
Oct. 7, 2007 - Hopkins County elected officials on Tuesday will be hosting the first of what they hope will be at least three open house days at the Hopkins County Intermodal Facility.
Located at 1285 Texas St. just north of UPS and south Shannon Road, the intermodal facility houses Hopkins County Fire Department and Hopkins County EMS-South, as well as North East Texas Opportunities, which operates the local TRAX buses.
The facility will be open to the public for tours Tuesday from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., although the main focus will be school-age children, according to Hopkins County Judge Cletis Millsap.
About 225 students from Austin Elementary and Lamar Elementary schools have been invited to visit the facility. The first through third grade students will also be treated to an education fire prevention program by Hopkins County Fire Prevention Team, and the firefighters will show off their equipment and demonstrate its uses. Third graders are encouraged to bring a sack lunch and join the firefighters for lunch.
The fire prevention program will be hosted in two phases from 9:45 a.m. to about noon, with younger students taking the earlier session. This will kick off Fire Safety Month. Hopkins County firemen will be visiting county schools and similar child care facilities during October to impart fire safety tips in a fun, kid-oriented program complete with props and clowns.
Plans are being made to host another open house for students in rural Hopkins County schools to give them an opportunity to tour the grounds, and to host a Saturday open house for the general public.
The county commissioners, Millsap and Hopkins County Fire Chief Carl Nix all extended an invitation to the general public to visit the facility any time during open house Tuesday.
�The fire department is proud of our facility and encourages the public to come see it Tuesday,� Hopkins County Fire Chief Carl Nix said.
In 2005, Congress approved a $750,000 matching grant, administered through the Federal Transit Administration, for the intermodal facility which was. Construction was completed in the spring.
Northeast Texas Opportunities Inc. and Hopkins County Fire Department are permanent residents of the facility.
Hopkins County EMS leases its section from the county for a fee. EMS is expected to improve response times by having an ambulance south of the interstate and in a more central location, the judge said.