The Gilbert Fire Department broke ground on a new firehouse on July 18 that is expected to reduce response times exponentially once completed.
The Friday ceremony was the first physical step taken toward the completion of Fire Station No. 7 — a two-story, three-bay facility located at 625 W. Warner Road between Cooper and Gilbert roads. Fire Chief Jim Jobusch said the department anticipates moving into the facility by June 2015.
“We worked hard and long for years to get to this point,” said Battalion Chief Brian Ruffentine.
Gilbert Town Councilmember Victor Petersen emphasized the fiscal expenditure of the project more than made up for the potential safety benefits for residents. The most notable upgrade for the new firehouse, which will replace the previous Fire Station No. 7 located a mile and a half north of the new station, is a reduction in the response time from an average of seven minutes to less than four.
“This will be a great benefit to the community tomorrow and into the future,” Petersen added.
Jobusch said the southwest section of Gilbert the new station will serve has been underserved for several years, and he added the town has spent several years trying to find the right location for a new station. What appealed to the town about this site is the location along a major street but away from an intersection; Jobusch said the difference is the department only has to control traffic in two directions instead of four, making it much safer when responding to calls.
Another plus for the new site of Fire Station No. 7 is the reduction in response time for additional stations as well. Jobusch said fire departments in essence work as a system, meaning firefighters respond to situations well outside their boundaries, which elongates the response time for incidents in their territory as well.
“It has kind of a flowing effect when you have a station in the right place,” he said.
Note: The original version of the article stated the fire station is located at S. Warner Road between Cooper and Guadalupe roads. The location is on W. Warner Road between Cooper and Gilbert roads.
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