CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa - After a brief presentation of the colors and the ceremonial decoupling of a fire hose, Cedar Rapids Fire Station 3 opened its bay doors to the public on Saturday morning, with members of city administration in attendance.
"It really gives our community a really comprehensive and complete system to respond to emergencies in this community," said Mayor Ron Corbett of the new station at 3520 Crestwood Drive NW, just off Edgewood Road.
Corbett and other city officials said this station is not only symbolic of the persistence in Cedar Rapids' flood recovery efforts, but also of the city's continued growth.
"This west side is a growing area of our community," said Jeff Pomeranz, city manager. "And not only do we worry and want to take care of the future growth, but we want to take care of our existing residents in this area."
In addition to providing better amenities and living quarters for firefighters, Chief Mark English says the new $2.8 million station will mean better response times.
He was proud to highlight one important statistic.
"This building allows now 12.5% more people in Cedar Rapids to be within a mile and a half of a fire station," English explained. "This area, from O Avenue to 33rd Avenue and then west of 18th Street, has one-fifth of our calls in the city."
A city that knows too well the importance of giving first-responders the tools and facilities they need, to get the job done right.
"People remember during the flood, the fire department's own building was inundated with water," said Mayor Corbett, "yet they were out there rescuing people. So, this is the final piece of rebuilding and restructuring the whole fire department."