Changes are underway for Augusta Fire/EMA.
Michael Meyers, a public information officer with Augusta Fire/EMA, said the department is currently working to increase its equipment, training and involvement in the community.
“We are now in the age of social media where everybody watches everything so we have to dot every “i” and cross every “t” to make sure that we are not just putting out fires, but touching the community,” he said Tuesday.
The department has begun training for 10 new recruits and recently purchased two new fire trucks. The trucks are two of six expected this year, funded through the special purpose local option sales tax, Meyers said.
The department also plans to add three new stations — the first located within Augusta’s downtown, the second along Deans Bridge Road, just past Mt. Olive cemetery and the third on Gordon Highway near Jimmie Dyess Parkway.
The changes are part of the department’s mission to be focused, involved and work together, or “FIT” with the community.
“We’re going to make sure that we are focused on moving forward, we are focused on our community, and we’re going to be involved in training and in the community as well, and if we work together we can achieve that,” Meyers said.
The department hopes to get residents more involved through its programs, Meyers said. Those programs include afree eight-week Community Emergency Response Team training, known as CERT, an annual “Family Emergency Day” being held in May this year and the launch of a new senior initiative to help buy new smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.
Meyers said each program aims to provide residents with information on how they can best work with the department should a crisis occur.
“We want to help people understand what’s going on here so that they can also help us do our checks,” he said. “That’s the direction we want to make sure we are going in for Augusta.”