KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Firefighters and emergency medical technicians will soon be able to respond to an emergency in the Northland faster than they currently can.
Kansas City leaders broke ground Tuesday on a new fire station along NE Cookingham Drive, just east of Interstate 435. It will be the city’s 35th fire station.
Fire Chief Gary Reese said the station will hold one ambulance, one pumper truck, and eventually a fire truck. It has enough room to house two captains and 10 firefighters or EMTs. It should open by June 2019.
The station is a promise kept from Councilwoman Heather Hall’s 2015 election platform. She said constituents overwhelmingly want faster response times. This station will allow first responders to better serve an area of 25,000 residents. Mayor Pro Tem Scott Wagner called the area Kansas City’s fastest growing.
Hall said having the new fire station will reduce home insurance rates for people living in the area around the northeast corner of the Interstate 435 loop.
“They are paying what they would call a level 10 in the insurance industry, which is the highest insurance rate. They are too far away from a fire station to get the service they need adequately,” Hall explained.
Building the fire station will cost a little more than $6 million. The city set aside money from a public safety sales tax and a taxing district in the area. The city saved money because a citizen donated land for the building.
Tim Harris, of Star Development Corporation, donated roughly seven acres of land for the station. He did so in honor of his late father, William Kelly, who worked at the Kansas City Fire Department for about 35 years.
Hall said the new fire station will have state-of-the-art facilities to keep firefighters safe. Their living quarters will be separate from where they store and wash their firefighting gear, which can become contaminated while fighting fires.