By: Julia Deng
ODESSA - The City of Odessa Fire Department last opened a new fire station in 1984. The city's population has since exploded with more than 20,000 new residents.
"We have added additional resources and personnel," Odessa Fire Chief, Roger Boyd, said. "But there comes a time when you need to take that next step. We need to do that, start making plans to open a new station."
Fire officials presented a "Capital Improvement Plan" last week to City Council members, outlining projects they identified as immediate, intermediate and long-term needs.
Their three "immediate needs" are the addition of a new station in the Lawndale area, the relocation of an existing station currently on Brentwood Drive and the expansion of the Central Fire Station.
According to Boyd, the new station would likely be located near Andrews Highway and East 91st Street.
"That way, we could better serve the Lawndale community and also have easy access to Andrews Highway to reinforce our other stations," he said.
Boyd estimated the cost of building the new station - not including property expenses - to total approximately $2.25 million.
"What's important to look at here are response times," he explained. "We're just a little bit outside of our preferred response time to get to that area in Lawndale."
The fire department aims to respond to all emergencies within four minutes.
However, response times involving Lawndale incidents currently clock in around four and a half minutes, according to Boyd.
"When that other station on Yukon isn't available, it could be over five minutes," he said. "I wouldn't want to wait until something catastrophic happened to be a little more proactive than reactive to that."