Westside to get 7 new fire stations in next 20 years?

       No relocations of Westside fire stations are included in recommendations that the Resource Allocation Task Force (RATF) plans to present to Colorado Springs City Council at its informal meeting Nov. 8. However, with the goal of meeting a six- minute response time in developed parts of the city, the recommendations will discuss the potential additions of seven new stations on the Westside over the next 20 years.
       The new Westside stations, which would be among 35 new ones citywide, are tentatively proposed north of Highway 24 (five) and south of it (two). The three current Westside stations are Station 3 and Station 5 on Colorado Avenue and Station 9 on Garden of the Gods Road.
       No cost amounts or exact locations have been suggested for new stations, as this was not part of the charge given to RATF when it was set up by Colorado Springs City Council last July. Council had asked the group (also informally known as the citizens fire task force) to research factors involved in city fire protection, including a 6-minute response time in the city's developed areas and 8- to 12-minute in new-growth areas.
       RATF held its last meeting Aug. 31. The report is being finalized by Jan Doran, president of the Council of Neighbors and Organizations (CONO), who was named head of the task force. RATF was an outgrowth of the Service Improvement Task Force, formed last February after City Council unease about a Colorado Springs Fire Department proposal that had recommended (in part) relocating Station 3 closer to downtown and making it the primary responder there.
       Four Westsiders have served on both task forces - Sallie Clark (District 3 county commissioner-elect), Welling Clark (chairman of the Public Safety Sales Tax Oversight Committee), and Bob and Rose Kliewer (board members of the Organization of Westside Neighbors (OWN)).
       “Communities have to plan for the future,” Clark said. “Six minutes is achievable in 20 years to provide that good level of service.” Also, by having such a high standard, it gives the city a “good basic foundation” for planning and organizing fire and medical services, she said. “You have to remember, too,” she added, “that six minutes is citywide, 90 percent of the time, so essentially you're averaging out those times. It doesn't mean every single area is going to have six minutes.”
       Colorado Springs Fire Department Battalion Chief Clark Stidham conceded at the Aug. 31 meeting that the department is “not there now” with an eight-minute standard.

Westside Pioneer article