UNICOI, Tenn. (WJHL)- The Unicoi Co. Emergency Medical Services (UCEMS) opened its second station Monday morning.

The new facility will allow UCEMS to split the county into two zones to hopefully provide more efficient coverage with a goal of cutting current response time of 15-19 minutes to outlying communities in half.

“Right now, they’re located in the old hospital in Erwin. They figure that for a call out here this will save about 50% of their time to get here,” said town of Unicoi Vice Mayor, Roger Cooper. “The board was looking at, ‘Okay, if we have it here, it can serve all the local land for us – probably maybe the tail end of Carter County and some and Johnson City.'”

The town of Unicoi used American Rescue Plan Act money to purchase Johnson City’s old Buffalo Valley Golf Course Maintenance Facility and renovate it to become EMS working quarters.

“This was the old golf courses’ maintenance garage. So golf carts and stuff were stored here where they needed maintenance and all the greens keeping equipment was here. So we just came in and refitted it to work as an EMS station now,” said UCEMS Paramedic Patrick Kelley. “To do this on our own, it would have been a monumental task. So them sharing a load of getting the station ready and helping get the funds together for all this has been greatly helpful.”

It is equipped with a two truck bay, working and living quarters with brand-new appliances and dual master bathrooms, along with an office and sitting room.

A two person crew will man the substation 24 hours a day with one on and one off.

The substation is located at 116 Golf Course Road in Unicoi.