Lubbockites to decide on new fire stations - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

10/22/09

Lubbockites to decide on new fire stations

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By Ben Lawson  - bio | email

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - NewsChannel 11 wraps up our in-depth look at Lubbock's four bond proposals.  We've told you about park and road improvements. Now, we address public safety.

Voters will decide whether to spend $7.5-million on three new fire stations in southwest Lubbock.  Station 18 would be built at 66th Street and Oakridge Avenue if the bond proposition is approved.  It would be a multi-company station located on the east side of Oakridge, just south of 66th. 

Station 18 would serve the area between 50th Street and 82nd Street west of Loop 289 to Upland Avenue.  This area has 400 residences and 443 acres of commercial property to protect.

While the new stations would be built in southwest Lubbock, all residents can benefit from lower fire insurance costs. Right now, Lubbock is rated as a two by the Insurance Service Office for fire coverage.

We achieved that before the addition of Station 17 near 63th Street and Indiana Avenue. So, new stations would help move Lubbock to a one rating, which is the best rating.

Lubbock Deputy Fire Chief Lynn Smith explains how the ratings lower premiums. "The fire suppression rating system calls for an engine to be able to respond within their territory up to a mile and a half within a certain amount of time.  Constructing these new fire stations definitely would add extra points. It would allow us to even get closer to a one rating, which would also help reduce the fire insurance rates citizens receive at this time," Smith said. 

Smith says other areas in the county have seen up to an 8% decrease in insurance costs when they reached a two rating, and even higher when they reach a one.

Fire Station 19 would be built at 104th Street and Milwaukee Avenue, on the southwest corner. It would cover the area from 98th Street south to F.M. 1585, between Frankford Avenue and Alcove Avenue.  There are nearly 2,000 homes in this area.

Fire Station 16, which was put on hold so Fire Station 17 could be built, would be built at 114th Street and Quaker Avenue, just east of the intersection on the north side of 114th. It would cover the area from 98th Street south to F.M. 1585 between University Avenue and Slide Road, and would protect more than 2,700 homes in the area.

The new stations would increase fire protection coverage folks living in the city.  They can also better protect those who fight the fires.  Lubbock Deputy Fire Chief Smith explains.  "Construction materials on houses nowadays, we have the possibility of a flash over occurring much earlier, which puts the fire fighters at a higher risks and much more danger than prior years. Having a station positioned in these locations allows the fire fighters to be there within that flash over time frame to try to make a difference," Smith said. 

Adding these stations would also require the city to hire additional fire fighters.  (Click Here) to find polling locations and opening times in your area.

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