Service Improvements Part of Task Force Recommendations
Brian Coddington, Communications Director, 509.625.6740
Tuesday, April 28, 2015 at 1 p.m.
A new fire station in southwest Spokane will soon begin serving neighborhoods in that area of the city.
An engine with a two-person crew will start operating out of Station 5 next month during the day with round-the-clock staffing expected by late summer. The City finalized the purchase of the former Eagle Ridge information center at 115 W. Eagle Ridge Blvd. earlier this month.
“This is an important next step in the evolution of Spokane fire and emergency medical services to better meet the changing needs in southwest Spokane,” said Mayor David Condon.
Opening this station is one of many Fire Task Force recommendations the City has implemented over the past two years. Calls for service, especially medical calls, have been growing in neighborhoods, including southwest Spokane. The Station 5 location is central to the area, and the building can be converted quickly and affordably to bring fire and emergency medical service closer to southwest neighborhoods.
Work to convert the building into a full-time fire station is underway. It is expected to be completed in September. The building will serve as a temporary location while the City searches for a long-term solution near the intersection of Highway 195 and the Cheney Spokane Road.
For more than a year the City has been adjusting resources to match growing neighborhoods and positions in the southwest area. The city entered into a supplemental response agreement with a neighboring fire district a year ago and last year extended the pilot Alternative Response Unit program, which dispatches smaller SUVs to non-emergency calls while leaving larger apparatus available for emergencies.
A $2 million federal SAFER grant secured earlier this year will add 12 new firefighters citywide, including six at Station 5. The remaining two positions to complete station staffing and provide round-the-clock service will be paid for out of the existing Fire Department budget.
The mayor will work with the City Council to make sure the fire positions are included in future budgets at the completion of the grant.
“Funding fire and emergency medical services is a priority,” Condon said.