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Published January 25, 2012, 06:24 PM

New Fire Station Planned in South Side of Grand Forks

GRAND FORKS, ND (WDAZ-TV) - Firefighters will ultimately be responding to south-side fires from a different location.

GRAND FORKS, ND (WDAZ-TV) - Firefighters will ultimately be responding to south-side fires from a different location.

That's because the City Council has approved plans to buy land for a new, south Grand Forks fire station. It will be the fifth fire station in Grand Forks.

There isn't a set time span as to when they'll start and finish building but they're hoping to have the station open by 2016.

National Standards say, Firefighters should arrive on scene within 4 minutes. But Grand Forks firefighters can't get to the south-end of town that quickly.

"Response times are becoming more and more critical and we don't want to lose any homes or lives or anything of that nature," said Grand Forks Council Member, Curt Kreun.

Insurance rates go up for residents if a station is not built. The department has budgeted $1 Million dollars for building costs and salary. But housing fire trucks won't be the only use for this station.

"We have the land and the ability to add a couple stalls on to keep a couple snow plows on the south end and people could report to that station and save us a lot of time," said Kreun.

A fuel depot is another option since all public vehicles have to go to the west side of town for gas.

"Could be a multiple use building now that has not been approved yet, that's still in the conceptual stages," said Fire Chief, Peter O'Neill.

The only downside to this project would be sirens in the middle of the night.

"We are noisy when we go out with our alarms and things there would be those disadvantages," said O'Neill.

But with focus on keeping the people safe, that's only a small price to pay.

"Ultimate goal is to protect our citizens from fires," said Kreun.

The department and council have looked at FOUR different sites, but right here on 47th street seems most viable.

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