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Fire Station 3 History
Currently located at 4701 Fort Avenue, the current Station 3 was built in 1968 during the tenure of Chief Marvin Evans. Following the trend set by the design of Station 2 built in 1957, Station 3’s design reflected the new ”suburban” style of architecture seen in the 50’s and 60’s.
Although Station 3 is considered an important part of the Fire Department, it is to be noted that although Engine 3 has been in service since 1883, there has not always been a Station 3. Originally located on Commerce Street between 11th and 12th, Engine 3 was originally a horse drawn company out of these quarters until 1903, when they were re-located to the Friends Warehouse on Church Street. During this period of time, Station 3 was the Headquarters Station for the department, housing Engine 3, Combination Company 3, Hook and Ladder Company 3 and the Chief’s car.
Upon the closure of the Church Street station in the early 1930’s, Engine 3 was re-located to Station 6 at Miller Park. Hook and Ladder Company 3 and the Chief’s car were re-located to the new Station 1 at 301 5th Street. While housed at Station 6, Engine 3 would run in conjunction with Engine 6 on many calls in the Fort Hill section of the city.
On March 6, 1949, Engine 3 would answer what has to be the longest mutual aid response in the history of the department. After receiving a request for help from the Farmville Fire Department, Engine 3 responded from Station 6 to Longwood College in 52 minutes to help battle a blaze in a dormitory at the school.
By the mid-1960’s the westward expansion necessitated the need for a new fire station further out on Fort Avenue to provide protection to this area of the city. Built in 1968 Station 3 has over the years been the home to many pieces of apparatus. In addition to Engine 3 at one time or another Station 3 has been the home to Engine 6, Engine 8, Tanker 3 and 732.
Also housed at Station 3 is the Rescue unit. Originally known as "724," this unit was placed in service in 1976 for the purpose of providing search and rescue, as well as having specialized firefighting and rescue equipment. Currently this unit is known as Rescue 1.
Currently Station 3 is the home to Engine 3, Medic 3, and Rescue 1.