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SML Marine Volunteer Fire and Rescue plans for headquarters

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SMITH MOUNTAIN LAKE (WSLS 10) - The Smith Mountain Lake Marine Volunteer Fire and Rescue Department plans to build a headquarters in Franklin County.

The agency doesn't have a center now and wants to have a multi-purpose center in case of a disaster.

The site will be south of Hales Ford Bridge.

Deputy Chief Jason Halm says it's an ideal central location when responding to calls.

"We'll be more focused on response times and be able to have out crews on staff to warrant having a better response during the holiday season, summer, and vacation," says Halm.

There were plans to build the headquarters a few years ago but the down economy put the project on hold.

"It's something we've needed for a long time," says Chief John Honaker. "We've had the land for a decent period of time and getting started has been tough."

The volunteer department is relying on donations and grants for the multi-million dollar project. Deputy Chief Halm says there are so many benefits to the center for people at the lake.

"The benefit for them is we'll be able to bolster our services and be able to offer better services for emergency response out of one central location and then also reflect on property owners cause we'll have another facility on the lake when it comes to insurance," says Halm.

The plan is to ramp up fundraising efforts this year and build the headquarters in 2017.