Highlands, owned by Thunder Enterprises, is gearing up to construct a new fire station for the southeast Tennessee mountaintop community. Developer John Thornton, the Jasper Highlands Volunteer Fire Department (JHFD) and Jasper Highlands Development have partnered to construct a $500,000 improvement project consisting of the new fire station, as well as a community center inside Jasper Highlands’s sprawling community green space called Inspiration Park. The fire station will feature bays for four fire engines, equipment storage and adequate room to facilitate various training opportunities. Additionally, the fire station will include a community room that will serve as a welcoming forum and meeting place for residents who wish to become more involved in the department.
The fire station groundbreaking marks a successful first year of operation for the JHFD, who earned an ISO Class 4 rating, as well the advent of emergency medical services. Both the ISO rating and fire department based medical assistance were the first of their kind in Marion County. The continued growth of both the fire department and the development were catalysts for expediting construction of the fire station and community center, originally planned for years in the future.
“The JHFD has put in hours of training in order to provide our community the best protection possible and has exceeded all of our expectations,” said Mr. Thornton. “Our volunteer fire fighters have gone above and beyond for our home and property owners and we are proud of what they’ve been able to accomplish in such a short amount of time. Building the fire department, providing the best trucks and equipment available and building a fire station has always been our top priority, and we are proud to be moving ahead of schedule to construct this state of the art facility.”
In addition to the fire station and community center, the JHFD has purchased a wildland fire vehicle to enhance protection on the Mountain from grass and wildland fires. The JHFD will also undergo additional training on wildland fire suppression and offer classes to the community on prevention.
“The continued dedication of our volunteer firefighters and the constant support of the developer, John Thornton, have been the basis of our success,” said James Wessel, president of the JHFD. “I am overwhelmed with gratitude that the developer is donating the land and substantial in kind services to make this project possible.”