Benton County Fire officials push for new location and shorter response times

shorter response times

RICHLAND, Wash. - Firefighters are pushing to make every second count Thursday.

Benton County Fire District #4 is working to decrease emergency response times by building a new station in the Red Mountain area in West Richland.

Right now, 17,000 people over a 52 square-mile radius rely on the fire district’s availability.

Fire Chief of District #4, Bill Whealan, says the window of life is so short that response times are becoming an even bigger concern.

"We've actually reduced it to just a little over seven minutes for the first quarter but that’s not a good representation of what our true response times are, but out in this area where we are at currently, response times can be as much as 16 minutes and 45 seconds," Chief Whealan said.

According to Chief Whealan commercial business within five to seven miles from the new station would also receive a significant tax break on their insurance, and homeowners in the area would also see a small decrease as well.

Whealan and his team are hoping to partner with other fire stations to help make the new station a reality.

The estimated cost of the new facility is between three and six million dollars, they have already purchased the land but are working on getting a bond to be able to complete the construction by 2018.

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