New fire station will respond to emergencies on southeast side SanTan Sun News

New fire station will respond to emergencies on southeast side

June 13th, 2017 | by SanTan Sun News
New fire station will respond to emergencies on southeast side
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By Colleen Sparks

The City of Chandler is hoping to break ground next month on a new fire station in order to speed up response times to fires and other emergencies on the southeast side.

The new station, which will be on the west side of Gilbert Road, about a quarter mile south of Ocotillo Road, also aims to address the increase in call volume in that part of the city, according to Keith Hargis, assistant fire chief for the Chandler Fire, Health & Medical Department.

The building, with three bays, garage areas for engines and other apparatuses, is expected to be about 10,000 square feet.

“Certainly we want to be able to provide exceptional service to the community in every area of the city,” Hargis said. “We feel like we’re going to be able to enhance the service to the community in this area, peace of mind.”

He said the fire department’s goal is to respond to 90 percent of the critical calls it receives within five minutes. On average, the response time in the southeast area of the city, which the new station will serve, is about six minutes, Hargis said. Critical calls include fires, heart attacks, drownings, hazardous materials and other major issues.

Last year, the fire department got 670 calls for all types of incidents for the southeast side of Chandler, in areas the other existing fire stations couldn’t reach in five minutes, Hargis said. He anticipates the new station, Fire Station No. 11, will receive more than 800 calls after it opens in 2018.

Besides just getting to the scenes of fires, heart attacks, potential drownings and other emergencies faster, the new station will allow the Fire, Health & Medical Department to engage more with people in that area of the community, Hargis said.

“One, it delivers increased response to the community, but two, it’s a place to come, to learn and to increase the educational safety side for the community as well,” he said. “Having a station in your community offers the ability for citizens to stop by, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, soccer teams, groups come for education, fire safety. We have a really special relationship with the citizens – open, inclusive.”

Residents who live in Fonte Al Sole, Layton Lakes and nearby neighborhoods will be in the service zone of Fire Station No. 11. The two fire stations closest to these homes now are Fire Station No. 7 at 6200 S. Gilbert Road, south of Riggs Road, and Fire Station No. 10 at 5211 S. McQueen Road, just south of Chandler Heights Road.

Firefighters with the Chandler Fire, Health & Medical Department polish their skills battling blazes at a training center last month. The city is building a new fire station on the southeast side.

Firefighters with the Chandler Fire, Health & Medical Department polish their skills battling blazes at a training center last month. The city is building a new fire station on the southeast side. (Kimberly Carrillo)

A single-engine company with an engineer who drives the fire truck, a fire captain who sits up front in the vehicle and two other firefighters who sit in the back of the truck will be housed at the station. At least two of them will be certified emergency paramedics and at least two more will be emergency medical technicians (EMTs). The station will have one fire truck.

The new fire station will have 10 dormitories/sleeping areas, four bathrooms, a full kitchen, a combined living and dining room, two office spaces and an exercise room. It won’t have any carpet since the department’s been building new stations without carpet to prevent boots from tracking biohazardous materials, soot and other substances that can cause illnesses.

Hargis said the city would be calling for construction contract bids for the new fire station within the next few weeks, with the goal of starting construction in July and opening the station in April 2018. The estimated cost to build the new fire station is estimated to be about $3.5 million and will come from fire impact fees, which are fees businesses and people pay for building commercial buildings and homes.

Building a fire station is an extensive process and Chandler Mayor Jay Tibshraeny, the City Council and City Manager Marsha Reed have been very supportive of it, Hargis said.

“It’s a long process to get a station through,” he said. “We can’t go out there and just start laying bricks. We’ve got nothing but support from all those involved. The city is very supportive of public safety.”

Tibshraeny expressed his enthusiasm for the new fire station.

“The City of Chandler has always put a premium on public safety and providing the best service possible to our residents,” he said. “While our working agreements with neighboring cities allow us to deliver excellent response times, this new station will take that a step further, ensuring a more rapid deployment should emergencies occur in southeast Chandler.”

 

(Photos by Kimberly Carrillo)
Firefighters with the Chandler Fire, Health & Medical Department polish their skills battling blazes at a training center last month. The city is building a new fire station on the southeast side.

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