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Temporary fire stations could be on the way in Del Valle and Travis Country

Wednesday, May 9, 2018 by Sommer Brugal

The Public Safety Commission voted to recommend funding the building of three new temporary fire stations in Del Valle and Travis Country after many residents detailed the area’s delayed response times and unmet needs. Anthony Davis, Austin Fire Department assistant chief, said that while some areas have a 9-minute response time, others could experience a response time of up to 19 minutes. Commission Chair Rebecca Webber said she and other commissioners have been hearing for years about the top five needed fire stations in the city, two of which are in Del Valle and one in Travis Country. “Year after year, we talk about how we need these fire stations, (but) to me, the issue reached a critical level when it was reported that people in these neighborhoods are (experiencing a rise in) their homeowners insurance because insurers think (these residents are) in greater danger.” According to Bob Nicks, president of the Austin Firefighters Association, the temporary stations could be built on the same land where permanent stations could sit. He also said, however, the city is thinking of creative solutions for these temporary stations, like considering the tollbooth along Highway 130 for one station’s build. Despite the short-term expectations, the stations will include the same amenities as permanent ones, such as showers and kitchen facilities. The final motion, which stated that the three most-needed fire stations should also include facilities to house ambulances, passed unanimously.

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