Callaway County emergency crews preparing to move into new building

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CALLAWAY COUNTY - Callaway County emergency officials are getting some new digs.

Crews will soon move into a new facility, as they've outgrown the old one.

"It's too small," Callaway County Ambulance Director Charles Anderson said of the 33-year-old facility. "We're just really out of space here in this building."

Last summer, a fourth crew was added on at the Callaway County location. 

"To accommodate that fourth crew, we had to essentially take the living room area and convert it into additional bedrooms for that crew," Anderson said. 

The current building isn't just used for EMS services. It is also a place for shelter during dangerous whether. With the amount of available space decreasing, the need for more room impacts more than just the crews.

"In the new facility, the board room will be the designated shelter," Anderson said.

He said the architects are currently planning to make that room a "hardened room."

"It will have, essentially, concrete walls, as well as a concrete ceiling over the top of it," he said. "It'll have its own bathroom facility. It will have backup power. It will have necessary ventilation and it will be able to support the weight of the building if the building were to collapse on top of it."

Anderson said the new shelter will be able to fit almost 120 people. 

He said the transition and eventual move into a new facility will not impact the quality of service. 

Callaway County Commissioner Gary Jungermann said the move will have an impact, but a positive one. 

"I think the new location is going to make it much better for the supervisors and administration of the ambulance district," Jungermann said. "This is a heavily populated area right here in the county...having those ambulances all in one location, for trainings and different purposes, I think is going to be a wonderful thing." 

He said the move to a new location will benefit the district as well. 

"20 years from now, I think, they'll have the ability to grow in that same location," Jungermann said. "Which is going to be great for them, and the tax payers, because they'll just be able to expand instead of going out and buying a different piece of property all the time."

Anderson said the new building is expected to be complete in the fall of 2019.