GUNTERSVILLE, Ala. -- Guntersville Rescue Squad members are upgrading and improving the headquarters, to better serve the community and prepare for Guntersville Lake Hydrofest, which is set for next year.
"We've updated the building inside and out. We've repainted, we've gutted everything. We've put in new appliances, new cabinets, things like that. We're just trying to update the building and bring it up to where it needs to be," said Guntersville Rescue Squad Public Relations Officer C.J. Jones.
The volunteer members updated the meeting spaces, the large kitchen, and a number of other rooms and spaces. Jones said they want to build a new pier on the lake, adjacent to the building.
That will help with a quicker response time for water calls, and it's an addition for public use. "We've got new equipment, we got a new boat, that's a new addition to our fleet. We've gotten a truck also,"Jones added.
The members are doing the work, and that's in addition to the volunteer time they put in to help the community, the surrounding counties, and across the State when they're needed.
It's a job that's on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week, year round. "We don't have an off-season per se," Jones said.
Some of the upgrades, like the changes to the kitchen, will allow the Rescue Squad to better serve the community during a natural disaster. Others, like the additions to the fleet, will allow for more efficiency during calls.
The changes will really come into play for Guntersville Lake Hydrofest, set for June 22 - 24, 2018.
"All of the emergency responders are going to be here," Jones said, "Everything is going to be based out of here. That way, if we have to evacuate somebody, or we have a medical emergency, everybody's in one central location since the races are going to be right directly out from here."
The races will be held on the lake directly in front of the Rescue Squad headquarters. "So, we're just trying to make sure that we've got everything cleaned up, set up, got what they need, so we can operate as efficiently as possible," Jones added.
The members planned a fundraiser next month and the money gained from it will help the Rescue Squad do its job, and it will also help fund a lot of those needed improvements. "We're self-sustaining, and outside of some grants and donations, that's the only thing that keeps us operating," Jones said.
The car show will be Memorial Day weekend, Saturday, May 27 at Marshall County Park #1. That's on U.S. Highway 431 North near the River Bridge in Guntersville. Registration begins at 8:00 and the car awards are at 12:30. There will be door prizes and vendors will be on hand.