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City of Grand Rapids building new firehouse after 'unacceptable' response times in Third Ward

City of Grand Rapids

Metrics show first responders arriving to emergency in 7 minutes or less only 54% of time

Facing “lagging and potentially dangerous” response times of first responders in Grand Rapids Third Ward, officials said Thursday it plans to build a new firehouse on the city’s southside.

The City of Grand Rapids says it spent $500,000 for a future fire station on the City’s southside in an area that officials say, is not receiving an “acceptable level of fire protection service.”

Last year, work began to identify a suitable location in the Third Ward to add a new fire station and additional engine company to the city’s frontline fire deployment. According to GRFD performance metrics, the area responded to more emergencies than any unit in the city, however, did not have the manpower to respond quickly enough in some instances, which the city called “unacceptable.”

According to a press release, fire crews in the Third Ward are only responding fast enough around 54% of the time, which is, a failing grade.

The city says at the heart of the problem, is that there are only two trucks to currently serve the Third Ward and are often used when emergencies take place in other areas of the city.

A new fire station and engine would reduce the current station’s call volume by about 41% and improve timely response to emergencies.