It’s great to see the activity at the New Bridge Fire & EMS site. The community has worked together for this goal for two years, and now the excavators and bulldozers are on site clearing and grading the land.
The need for a fire and rescue station was brought to the Louisa County Board of Supervisors attention around eight years ago, but, while the Supervisors passed a resolution supporting the idea, they failed to fund it.
Three years ago, the initiative was renewed as an EMS station only, and this time it was suggested the Lake Anna community raise $100,000 as seed money. The land was already available on county property on New Bridge Road.
Several community members established the Foundation for Lake Anna Emergency Services and began a fundraising campaign. In spite of the campaign startup coinciding with the beginning of the pandemic, the $100,000 goal was reached in five months.
During this time, then Chief of Fire and Emergency Services, Robert Dube, recommended the addition of a fire component to the station. The Board of Supervisors ultimately appropriated $2.3M to construct a fire and rescue station.
The county plans to open the station with fire equipment donated by the Mineral Volunteer Fire Department and a reserve ambulance from the county. Prior to Chief Dube’s retirement he approached the Foundation for Lake Anna Emergency Services asking for the community’s help with the purchase of a new ambulance. The cost of a new ambulance is $300,000, and the county will request a grant for 50% of the cost. The current goal of the Foundation is to raise the remaining $150,000 to assist with the purchase of the ambulance.
A recent fundraiser took place during the Lake Anna Business Partnership’s 50th birthday celebration of Lake Anna held at the Lake Anna Taphouse. For that event, Taphouse owner Brian Gilbreth offered the idea of “celebrity bartenders” with a portion of the beer proceeds for the ambulance. That event brought the total raised so far to over $107,000.
As this article went to print, Callie Opie’s Orchard was holding another fundraiser. The restaurant is celebrating their 5th year of business, and owner Mike Kavros offered the Foundation for Lake Anna Emergency Services the opportunity to turn the celebration into a luau-themed party to raise funds for the new ambulance.
In a recent interview with Chairman of the Board of Supervisors, Duane Adams, regarding the staffing of the new station, he said, “The new 2.5 million dollar station will be staffed in order to provide our community with 24/7 coverage.. And while our desire would always be to staff with volunteers, the reality is that staffing would either be a combination of volunteer and career or career staff if necessary.
“I want to ensure when construction is completed in 2023 this station is staffed and ready to serve the Lake Anna community and augment the emergency services provided by our other fire and rescue stations with whatever staffing solution that is needed.” Jane Gallagher