WEST (October 17, 2013)--It's taken half a year but two West's EMS Center and Medical Surgical center, which were both destroyed in the April 17 fertilizer plant explosion, are almost done rebuilding.
"I'm excited about the new facility. We've made some changes to it and it should be completed in about two more months,” West EMS Director Tom Marek said Thursday.
The EMS Center was destroyed by the explosion six months ago.
Insurance and donations paid for the new and three new ambulances.
The West Medical Surgical center owned by Dr. George Smith who was injured in the explosion, is being rebuilt from the ground up as well.
Smith suffered head injuries as he helped evacuate elderly residents from West Rest Haven nursing home the night of the explosion.
“Buildings can be replaced but the lives cannot. I lost a lot of friends in the explosion,” he said.
“I knew all of the twelve first responders (who died in the blast),” he said.
“I had worked with them. I still have nightmares of that night."
Smith is going to provide space in half of his center to another of the town’s doctors whose facility was demolished.
The two buildings will be the first businesses to relocate in the damaged northern zone of the city, since the explosion.