A new fire station that opened Monday on Jacksonville’s Northside is expected to cut response times in half for calls in the area.
Jacksonville Fire and Rescue and city leaders, including Mayor Donna Deegan and city council members, held a ribbon-cutting ceremony Monday for Station 64, which is at Harts Road and Dunn Avenue, just off I-95.
Station 64 is one of many stations added throughout Duval County as part of the city’s effort to improve response times.
JFRD Chief Keith Powers said the fast-growing Northside community is one of the areas most in need of fire stations.
“By council ordinance, we’re required to do a study every five years, it’s done by an independent contractor and looks and tells us where fire stations need to be built in the city based off growth or need,” Powers said.
He said the area where Station 64 was added has been in the study since 2006. Before, the nearest fire station was Station 34, on Dunn Avenue, or Station 38 on the other side of the Trout River.
Now that Station 64 is up and running, it should make a big difference to people living on the Northside, Powers said.
“It was taking surrounding companies coming in here to fill this gap — it would take 6 or 7 minutes (to respond),” Powers said. “Where now it’s going to be down to a 2-, 3-, 4-minute range.
The brand-new facility comes equipped with locker rooms, a kitchen and a bunk station.
The bunk station — with at least nine beds inside — is where crews spend the night in case of an emergency or natural disaster.
“I am proud to support JFRD and the brave men and women who serve and I look forward to seeing these investments support their work and take shape in neighborhoods across this great city,” Deegan said.
Station 64 is just the beginning for the Northside. The city plans to add more fire stations to the area over the next few years.