By Joseph Thallemer
City of Warsaw Mayor
WARSAW — The Warsaw-Wayne Township Fire Territory was established Jan. 1, 2010. As a result, the emergency services protection area expanded from approximately two square miles to 46 square miles. Currently the WWTFT is being served by the same two fire stations that have served our city for many years.
Tuesday afternoon, the WWTFT board voted to approve the preliminary design of a third fire station just west of County Farm Road on 200 South. The vote allows the territory to initiate the process of cost estimating, developing a funding strategy, designing and building a much needed third fire station to service both the southern portion of the City of Warsaw and rural Wayne Township.
The new station will allow for the strategic realignment of equipment and personnel to improve emergency service to all portions of the WWTFT. Response times to fire calls will be quicker. Property will be saved.
Also, as trained medical first responders, the new location will provide faster response times in a medical emergency. In addition, the station has been designed to house an ambulance service and accommodate its crew. Delivery of emergency medical services will be improved. Lives will be saved.
Insurance Services Organization grading of our fire protection will also benefit and potentially result in better insurance rates for our township citizens.
The station has been a priority since the territory was formed. A site selection committee determined the current location based upon detailed analysis of the expanded service area. A specific location was chosen and the necessary site improvements were performed.
The WWTFT board and consultants were instructed to come up with a two bay functional design that would serve both fire and ambulance equipment. The building will have a tornado siren and a basement emergency shelter.
Funding construction of the new station will require collaborative resource support from the City of Warsaw and Wayne Township, as will the management of operations and maintenance of the new facility.
The expected occupancy date of the new station will be early 2018. The manpower and equipment requirements of the new fire station have been projected out for five years and will have an immediate impact on the 2017 budget.
As the project plans are completed and the cost estimates are refined, we will seek public input.
The WWTFT board, the City of Warsaw, and Wayne Township have spent considerable time and resources to present a project that will meet the emergency service needs of a growing community in a cost effective manner. When the territory was established, a collaborative commitment was made to share resources to provide the most responsive services possible.
Our community is growing. Annual census estimates reveal that the city has almost a thousand more residents than it did in the 2010 census. Growth reflects community vibrancy. Growth also increases demand for city services.
While it is not easy to project the ‘ideal’ capacity of a community’s emergency services needs, the benefits of such becomes a little more obvious when minutes seem like hours in an emergency situation.