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Gallery | Portal celebrating long awaited staffed Bulloch Fire and EMS station

Bulloch County firefighters and paramedics held an open house on Tuesday, April 30th, for their newly expanded fire station in Portal. The station now houses a staffed ambulance and fire engine.

The Portal community celebrated with Bulloch County Leadership, firefighters, and paramedics the opening of a 24-hour staffed Fire and EMS station on Tuesday, April 30, 2024.  

"This is a great day for the citizens of Portal and the citizens of Bulloch County. This has been a long time coming, and we have seen immediate benefits from this new station," said Roy Thompson, Bulloch County Commission Chairman.   

Bulloch County staffed the station full time with firefighters and first responders in 2020. Last summer, they added a Bulloch County Ambulance and crew for 12 hours per day, while renovations on the station were being completed.

Earlier this year, they expanded the EMS crew to 24 hours a day. This now gives Bulloch County EMS four staffed ambulances in the City of Statesboro, a staffed ambulance in Brooklet, a staffed ambulance in Portal, and an ambulance 12 hours per day in Register. 

Renovations have begun in Register. Once they are completed, they will have 24 hour EMS coverage as well.  Register and Brooklet have 24 hour fire and first responders on site now.

The renovations in Portal included a 1,280 square foot addition, which includes six bedrooms/office space, 2 bathrooms, and a day room. 

The majority of the renovations were handled by Hawk Construction. Inmate labor from Bulloch County Correctional Institute provided over $8,000 of labor to the effort, and staff members chipped in as well.   

A firefighter tiled the showers, while others hung cabinets and helped with landscaping. It was a true team effort to the get the station ready for public inspection.   

The pride these community heroes have in their new station and expanded services to this area of the county is only equaled by the peace of mind Portal residents have now knowing help is much closer than the 10 miles from Statesboro they were accustomed to.

"Our paramedics worked a serious call yesterday that required a citizen to be flown to the trauma center. In trauma, heart attacks, stroke, and other serious medical incidents, time is of the essence. Survivability increases dramatically when you shave minutes off of the response," said Brian Hendrix, Bulloch County EMS Director. "We had a citizen recently who suffered a cardiac arrest. The speed of the response contributed to saving her life. The paramedics brought her back, and the team at EGRMC performed a cardiac cath. She was discharged days later.  For this lady and her family, our investment here was truly the difference between life and death."

Hendrix expressed his pride for the talented paramedics at Bulloch County EMS and firefighters at Bulloch Fire who show up every day ready to serve our community in its greatest time of need. Providing them with the tools, technology, and resources are critical to their success.  Today they made a huge leap forward in the quality of care for our community.

Hendrix is looking forward to having renovations completed in Register, and as funding allows, expanding Fire and EMS services to Stilson, Eldora, and other areas of the county so these citizens can benefit from the rapid responses as well.