Rural Metro and Knox County officials celebrated the opening of Rural Metro Fire Station No. 36.

The new fire station is located off Emory Road on Norman Jack Lane. After being in the works for more than a year, it's Rural Metro's 18th fire station -- and the largest one so far.

Mayor Glenn Jacobs and Rural Metro Fire Chief Jerry Harnish were at the ribbon cutting along with other county officials and first responders. 

The event took place Thursday morning and included a chili cook-off.

People could tour the new facility until 7 p.m. Thursday.

Chief Harnish said the new station will help fire crews serve a larger number of people.

"Having the station here really does two things: It allows us to serve a larger number of requests for service, but also reduces the response time because it puts the station exactly between the fire station in Halls at the fire station out in Oakland place," Harnish said.