MADISON COUNTY, Ala. - Hazel Green Volunteer Fire Department broke ground on a new fire station Friday. This is their fourth fire station to be built and leaders say it has been a long process.
The land for the station is off of Walker Lane near Moores Mill Intermediate School. The Hazel Green Fire Chief says this will help better serve the community but it's also special for a different reason.
The New Hazel Green Volunteer Fire Department will be in honor of the late Alabama Representative Jim Patterson.
"He was committed to seeing that this was going to happen, and I know he'll be smiling down that the first step today started," says Roger Jones, Madison County Commissioner.
Representative Patterson, lived just north of Huntsville and served District 21. He died unexpectedly from a heart attack in 2017. His wife says he was very passionate about getting the funding for this fire department.
"It's been one of his passions for a long time, to see that we have a fire station here," says Susan Patterson.
In fact, he even worked on this the day he died making calls to work out details.
Susan Patterson says her husband's last words were, "I need a lot of money for a fire department and by the way, I need a fire truck too."
Patterson's family says the station will be a reminder of his hard work for the people of Alabama.
"I'll be honored to go by and see his name because I know he is in heaven looking down, very proud," says Susan Patterson.
Hazel Green Fire Chief says they expect the station to be up and running this year.
"We're looking at possibly September as far as a finish date, which is a quick turn around. But there are always things that happen," says Chief Steve Watson.
Chief Watson says their current response time with three stations averages between six and eight minutes. He believes this additional station will only improve those times.