IFD addresses residents’ concerns over consolidating fire stations

(Provided Photo/Indianapolis Fire Department)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Franklin Township residents got more information Monday night about a plan to close two fire stations and open a new one.

The Indianapolis Fire Department made a presentation to residents on the city’s far southeast side.

The department plans to restructure fire response in that area.

Residents are worried about response times to their neighborhoods.

Monday night the fire chief tried to calm their fears and explain how he feels the new structure will be better than the current structure.

Dozens of Franklin Township residents showed up Monday night.

Those like Robert Ruder, who lives right across from Station 54, and Nancy Boaz, who lives near Station 52.

Those two fire stations are set to close under the fire department’s new plan.

52 would close completely and 54 would become a Health and Wellness center.

Both residents oppose the plan.

“These homes around Station 54, there are hundreds of them, and then you go east and Acton needs help out on that corner,” Ruder said.

The fire department plans to build a new fire station near McGregor Road to consolidate the two current stations.

“What we’re proposing is that we build a station in between them,” Indianapolis Fire Chief Ernest Malone said.

Malone told the residents that the new location will better serve all areas of the township.

He said the new spot will be closer to schools.

He said runs will always meet the four-minute response time standard.

“Everything we’ve done and everything we’re proposing has to meet that standard or we won’t even look at it,” he said.

But the residents are worried the response time will be slower than it is now and their homes will be at risk.

“I just don’t think the response time is there for their first engine to get there from the new station they are proposing,” Boaz said.

“Right now, I think it would be dangerous because seconds count, minutes count,” Ruder said.

The chief said Station 52 has the least runs of any station in the department.

It’s cost per run is more than $4,000 ¬†more than the average station’s cost per run.

If you’d like to read the plans for yourself, click here.