Work begins on new Harford fire station at Patterson Mill

A groundbreaking ceremony will be held Saturday morning for a new fire station being built at the corner of Route 924 and Patterson Mill Road in the Emmorton community midway between Bel Air and Abingdon.

The Bel Air Substation at Patterson Mill, as the facility will be known, will be operated by the Bel Air Volunteer Fire Company and is the first fire facility in Harford County to be constructed solely with funding from the county government, Bob Thomas, manager of communications for the county, said Friday.

The new building will cost $2.8 million to construct and is expected to be completed in September 2012. The site is next to Patterson Mill High School on property owned by the county government.

"This project was under discussion for a long time," Thomas said. "It began to move forward after David Craig became county executive in 2005. He agreed the county would build the station and that it would be operated by a volunteer fire organization."

In the past, Thomas said, fire stations in Harford County, which does not have a paid fire service, have been built by the volunteer fire companies with the own funds, or with a combination of their own funds and a stipend from the county or other government sources.

"This will be the first time the county government has paid the full cost," Thomas said.

The station, which will have room for fire equipment and an ambulance, according to Thomas, will be located in the heart of one of the most populous areas of Harford County that generates a lot of fire and EMS calls, Thomas noted.

He said the new location should cut response times for calls in the busy corridor between Bel Air and Abingdon. The Patterson Mill Station will be about 2.2 miles from the main Bel Air station on Hickory Avenue in downtown Bel Air

For Saturday's groundbreaking ceremony, which begins at 10 a.m., County Executive David Craig will be joined by Bel Air Fire Company President Anthony Coliano, members of the Harford County Council, members of the Harford County delegation to the Maryland General Assembly, commissioners from the Town of Bel Air and fire and EMS leaders from around Harford County.

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