Orange County broke ground on a new EMS station in Efland last Thursday to replace the current station which is in a much smaller building.
The new Orange County EMS Station 4 building will be the first standalone station built by the county, and construction is expected to be completed by summer 2023.
The station is located at 3800 Highway 70 West and will replace the current EMS Station 4 on Mt. Willing Road.
“It’s huge for us,” Orange County EMS Division Chief Kim Woodward said. “We’ve always either stationed at a rescue squad building or we borrowed other county facilities, but none of those things were actually built to meet our needs.”
She said the current station was originally designed to store equipment for a volunteer rescue squad, and that she knew for several years that the division had outgrown the station. It consists of two areas: an ambulance bay and an open area for 24-hour operations.
Once the new facility is built, the existing station will no longer be used.
Orange County Board of County Commissioners Chair Renee Price said that the new location will bring services closer to more people and provide direct access to rural areas.
“Our first responders deserve to have state-of-the-art accommodation so that they can do their work and so they’re comfortable," Price said. "They need a home when they’re out in the field.”
Orange County Emergency Services Director Kirby Saunders said the decision to replace the station has been in the works for over 10 years.