As Lubbock Grows, Critical Need for Firefighters Increases - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

3/23/05

As Lubbock Grows, Critical Need for Firefighters Increases

A warning from the Lubbock Fire Department; if the city does not build more fire stations in Southwest Lubbock, response time and safety of Lubbock citizens will suffer. Fire Chief Steve Hailey has created a master plan to solve the problem.

The city will soon re-open fire station 13 in Northwest Lubbock to meet safety concerns. But now, the demand for safety is moving to the southwest side of town, and it's a battle the fire department is trying to fight with new recruits and new stations.

1/13/05
Northwest Lubbock Fire Station Re-Opening with 15 New Jobs
Lubbock's fire chief is asking the City Council for a new station in Northwest Lubbock.

"The sacrifice my family has made to get to this point, and now here I am, just excited about having reached a goal I set over two years ago," said Probationary Firefighter, Brandon Caldwell.

Before setting foot on the training field, Caldwell and five other recruits spent their own time and money gaining state certification as a firefighter and EMT training. For Caldwell, it was a two year journey.

However, the recruits will only fill 6 out of 15 positions at the recently re-opened station 13.

If you visit Southwest Lubbock, you can see numerous construction areas. Once the area is completely developed the city will need more firefighters and more recruits. That's where the fire station master plan comes in.

Fire Chief Steve Hailey has been developing the master plan for over a year.

"I think we need to be proactive and get a plan in place so as the city does develop, we know exactly where the fire stations need to be," said Hailey.

City Council recently gave him the okay to go ahead with the plan, which includes eventually building new stations in those growing areas and hiring more firefighters.

Lubbock currently has 15 stations. Hailey doesn't know exactly where new stations will be built, but he says it's no doubt, the city does need more firefighters.

The cost to build one fire station is just over $1 million. Staffing one station will cost an additional $950,000. Back in January, city council approved the money for the re-opening fire station number 13 calling it a matter of public safety.

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