Fire Engines Roll Out of New Central Fire Station
By Heather Hubbs, Reporter
CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa - On Wednesday, Cedar Rapids firefighters started operating out of the city's new central fire station at 713 First Ave. SE. The facility replaces the old central fire station that was destroyed in the flood of 2008.
Central Fire will house an engine company, ladder company, rescue unit and a number of specialized vehicles, such as boats and a foam truck. There will be about 12 firefighters based in the facility per shift, as well as administrative staff.
The move will be a gradual one. Crews started moving in non-essential items like desks and exercise equipment on Monday. Starting next Monday, administrative operations will begin working from the new location.
The move involved combining crews and equipment from three different fire stations -- the temporary central fire station on First Street SW, Station 10 on Edgewood Rd. SW, and Station 5 on Wilson Ave. SW.
The new fire station location means 12 percent more people now live within a mile and a half of the station, which means they can get to more people faster in an emergency.
"It gets us into a central location, we're up higher, not in the flood plain," assistant fire chief Curtis Hopper said. "We are able to respond to any location in the downtown area. We're also able to get quickly and easily to 380 access it's a good location to be in the city."
The fire department has set a goal of arriving on scene within five minutes of a call within their district. Right now, the department meets that goal about 62 percent of the time. Officials hope to improve that five-minute response time to 80 percent with the opening of the new central fire station, plus a new fire station on Crestwood Drive NW that's set to open in December.
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