The Mount Zion Fire Protection District will start providing coverage 24 hours a day, seven days a week, beginning in October, fire Chief Don Wright said Thursday.
Wright said his impending retirement Oct. 31 allowed the department to split his salary and hire two additional full-time firefighters.
Three firefighters will work rotating 24-hour shifts at the station, 100 W. Main St., and will respond to any calls within the department's coverage area.
Wright said the department has about 24 volunteer firefighters who will assist the full-time personnel when needed.
"It gives us the opportunity to do more responding immediately," Wright said. Mount Zion will become the first Macon County fire agency to have 24-hour coverage since the Decatur Fire Department became full time in 1884. The department has three fire engines and an airport crash truck to fight aircraft fires in its fleet, Wright said.