Proposed fire station would decrease emergency response times

Proposed fire station would decrease emergency response times

Imagine waiting 15 minutes for first responders to get to you during an emergency. That’s a concern for residents on Madison’s southeast side and it’s an issue city leaders are hoping to tackle at a budget meeting Tuesday.

A proposed fire station on Femrite Drive would decrease emergency response times to five minutes, helping the city meet the standard set by the National Fire Protection Association.
Madison fire Chief Steve Davis said this problem stems from the growing population near the Ho Chunk Casino area.

About 12,000 residents live in that neighborhood, but there isn’t a fire station nearby to help in case of an emergency which Davis said is a concerning issue.

“Minutes are life, literally in the business that we have, whether it’s a medical emergency or a structure fire or any other kind of emergency, we really need to get there as soon as possible,” Davis said. “And so when we began to see many responses creeping up to 10 to 15 minutes in some cases 20 minutes for us to get highly trained responders on scene that becomes a real problem for us.”

The new fire station would cost an estimated $6.75 million. It would also include a training facility for incoming and current firefighters.

The Madison Fire Department was also awarded a federal grant to add 15 more firefighters to the new station.

Construction is set to begin in January 2018 and end in October of that year.

A finance committee will meet Tuesday, to discuss the 2018 city budget, which is set to include the fire station.