Construction begins on a new fire station

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - A ground breaking ceremony was held Wednesday morning on the 3900 block on Harrisburg Road in Jonesboro for a new fire station.

City officials, chamber members and representatives from the Jonesboro Fire Department showed up to churn some dirt on the future location of Fire Station number four.

Fire Chief Leonard Jadrich says has been a long time coming. "We developed a four phase project back about five years ago. ISO came out and did a rating for us and basically what happened is the population of Jonesboro has grown in different directions then what our fire stations were built in the '70s."

Chief Jadrich says, next, they came up with a plan they felt made the most sense. "Instead of building additional stations to relocate the older stations built in the '70s which are outdated. The engine rooms are too small for the new fire engines, anyway. By relocating the fire stations we were able to save quite a little bit of money, labor and personnel costs."

The plan includes relocating five fire stations and building one new one. The beginning of construction on Fire Station number four is the third phase of this five year plan. "This new station is going to replace station four which is over on Stadium. We're relocating it is basically what we're doing to get better coverage for where the population is, the density population. And we will be selling the property over on Stadium and actually taking that money to put into this building phase here."

Chief Jadrich says these relocations are essential to the safety of Jonesboro's residents. "Our population is so much more compact than it was even ten years ago. We're geared on getting there quick, quick response. So, when ISO comes in, they actually measure time it takes us to get to incidents, measure travel distance and things like that. If we don't keep up pace with the stations, our ISO rating goes down and insurance rates go up for the population."

They will be relocating station number five on Wood Street to a location in the Valley View area. They hope to have Fire Station number four complete by Christmas of this year.

For more information about the plans, log onto their website.

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