Bradley County firefighters are getting three new stations that will also serve as storm shelters for the public during severe weather.
WRCB reports federal dollars helped pay for the facilities following the April 2011 tornadoes, when storms killed nine people and caused $50 million worth of damage.
Bradley County's EMA director says each additional fire station will operate 24/7 and employ four to five new firefighters. Their training rooms will also be used as storm shelters, which are 2,500 square feet and built to FEMA standards.
"Standing on eight-inch concrete inside the facility, eight-inch thick walls, solid concrete reinforced, and the roof is eight inches thick of concrete as well," said Troy Spence.
The shelters can withstand the 200 mile-per-hour winds of an EF-5 tornado.
Officials hope the first station will be open by April 1. The other two should be completed by May 1.
The locations will be:
- Minnis Road near Parkview Elementary School
- Dalton Pike near Waterville Elementary School
- Georgetown Road NW near Hopewell Elementary School