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For such a small town, why does Southport have such a large fire station and ladder trucks?

Austin Suther

Don’t let Southport’s small size fool you; the fire department has a lot to do. According to Chief Charles A. Drew of Southport Fire Department, the station covers:

  • A hospital
  • Two elementary schools
  • A nuclear plant
  • The largest ammunition depot on the East Coast
  • Two marinas

Additionally, Southport’s firefighters cover several factories and large commercial structures.

Drew said the department covers 22 square miles, nearly 5,000 structures and 86 road miles. The department receives more than 2,000 calls for assistance each year.

The fire station serves other purposes as well.

“When this station was planned, it was designed by a committee of fire officers, board of alderman members, and citizens,” Drew said. “The building was designed to last the city of Southport for 50 years. It is not only a fire station, it is our emergency operations center and is utilized by the city of Southport for training and meetings space as well.”

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