Hopkins County Fire Chief Andy Endsley was joined by Hopkins County Judge Robert Newsom in welcoming guests to the Open House and and Anniversary Celebration of the Southside Fire Station on Texas Street on Friday January 4, 2019. Also present were several volunteers of county Fire units, Chamber of Commerce representatives, Hopkins County Sheriff Lewis Tatum and numerous current and past elected county officials.
Interesting bits of background on it’s history was supplied by former Commissioners Danny Evans, Don Patterson and Beth Wisenbaker who were in support of the new facility while they were in office. Each of them praised the vision and the teamwork by individuals and offices from City, County, Fire, Law Enforcement, EMS and Volunteer Departments who each contributed and worked together to expand the vital fire and rescue services to the south side of the Interstate. The success was also the result of more than a decade of of lobbying, seeking grants, repaying debts and upgrading equipment. As Chief Endsley observed, “Since I arrived in Hopkins County, this station has been a project in progress that we believed could be a reality. In 2006, there were only five counties in the State of Texas with a paid Fire Department. We are actually now the envy of many departments near us and all over the state. When our citizens see our uniformed employees and our shiny well-equipped firetrucks out around town, their cleanliness and order shows our pride in having a Department like we have. We are all proud of this facility and it’s ability to handle our community’s firefighting and rescue needs at any hour. Sulphur Springs was once rated by ISO as a 10 in our abilities to serve our population. Now we have come up to a 4 in ISO ratings, and that’s a huge improvement.” Judge Newsom added that with the improved ISO rating, citizens may be able to see the cost of their homeowners insurance come down during 2019. Policyholders may need to bring the improved rating to the attention of their insurers.