By Tiffany Pelt - email
LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - The Lubbock Fire Department is celebrating the grand opening of the new Fire Station #17 off of Indiana and 63rd Street.
"This is Fire Prevention Week and what a better thing to do than to open a brand new fire station during Fire Prevention Week. This is awesome!" said Fire Chief Rhea Cooper.
City Council and community members welcomed the new fire station as they watched Fire Chief Rhea Cooper cut the ribbon with the Jaws of Life. The new fire station will serve 5,800 homes nearby."This engine is within a 1.5 mile travel distance to those homes which can ensure you're going to have a 4 to 4.5 minute response time from this company to anyone in this area," said Cooper.
Cooper also says the station has been operational since September 26th and since then has been called out 50 times. Although this station has already filled in a gap in response time to emergencies, Cooper and other members of City Council say three more fire stations need to be built in south west Lubbock.
"It's important we have these fire stations built. There's areas of our town that are not covered with a short enough distance from the fire station to improve our response times," said Council Member John Leonard. Those stations would be in his district.
The three new fire stations will be on the November 3rd ballot for all of Lubbock to vote on. If approved the stations would be located on 114th Street and Quaker, 66th Street and Oakridge Avenue, and at 104th Street and Milwaukee Avenue. After November if these stations are approved they will each cost $2.5 million and have to be built within four years.
Right now other fire stations are having to respond to emergencies in those areas, and can't respond as quickly. "That's a tremendous long response time to cover that area out there, so as city grows we are trying to put fire stations in place so we cover those built up areas of the city," said Cooper.
Fire station 17 is actually only 16th fire station in Lubbock. About three years ago former city council member Phyllis Jones asked the mayor and council to delay fire station 16 at 114th and Quaker and instead make fire station 17 at 63rd and Indiana the priority.
So, for the moment, Lubbock has fire station 17 but no 16. But, once again, three new fire stations go on the November 3rd ballot, including fire station 16.
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