LONGS, S.C. (WBTW) — Horry County Fire Rescue will celebrated the grand opening of its new state-of-the-art fire station in Longs Tuesday morning.

The project broke ground in February 2020 and started taking calls in late-May of this year.

The need for the new station arose as the population of Horry County continued to grow. 

“As the county grows and as public safety grows in the county, we need to expand with that,” said Tony Casey, an Horry County Fire Rescue spokesperson. “This new station essentially is gonna be an update to what we need in the county for public safety.”

Casey said the old Station 13 was “rudimentary” and had outgrown itself. The new station has updates that serve the growing fire team and community. 

“[It has] everything that we haven’t seen in the past,” Casey said. 

Some of the new features include doubling the amount of bay doors to allow firetrucks easier access in and out of the building. It also has a fitness center, updated living quarters and new bathrooms.

Casey said these are updates that will be included in all HCFR stations moving forward. 

As far as size, the building is seeing a big increase. 

“This is a much larger station than the previous station again,” Casey said. “This is so much expanded from that, so the footprint’s gonna be much bigger.”

Since it started running operations in late-May, the station has already proven to be a success to the community. It has already taken more than 220 calls.

The $2.2 million building was built right next to where the old Station 13 once stood, but the history is not lost. 

“We needed to take down the old building, and it is now a piece of the art at the new station,” Casey said.

Horry County Council members this new station helps meet the call demands in this fast-growing area.

“If you look around you won’t see a better group that symbolizes and is the definition of the word team,” said Danny Hardee, Horry County council member District 10. “This group of people work together hand in hand to keep making things like this happen for the betterment of Horry County.”

Neighbors said they are thrilled to have a new fire station.

“A new facility always reaches more people, reaches out to more people and the firemen, they do a lot more than just put out fires and we want the people to know that, and we appreciate everything that they do in our community,” Longs resident Dymple Smith said.