MEMS will be moving to a new headquarters at 1121 W. Seventh St. just north of its former headquarters. MEMS Executive Director Jon Swanson stated that the ambulance service had outgrew its former headquarters built in 1985 and will be transferring to a 38,000-square-foot building in Little Rock. The centralized MEMS headquarters cost $12 million to build and was designed to within winds up to 250 mph, alongside seismic activity, due to the10.5-inch-thick concrete construction that has been reinforced with steel.
MEMS employs 250 uniformed personnel and handles 240 calls per day. The nonprofit agency serves 530,000 residents across Pulaski, Faulkner, Lonoke and Grant counties.
“It allows our emergency service personnel to work while the disaster is occurring,” stated Little Rock Mayor Mark Stodola. “That’s so very, very important. Just the technical capability, the equipment that goes into the scale of the operation — it’s so very important.”
The new headquarters will also double as a tornado shelter for up to 150 people and as a classroom.
“[There is a] lot of space for training [at the new headquarters], because training is an ongoing mission at MEMS,” said Scott Gordon, chairman of the Little Rock ambulance authority.