Ash Flat Fire Dept. moving soon to new fire station - KAIT-Jonesboro, AR-News, weather, sports

Ash Flat Fire Dept. moving soon to new fire station

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Ash Flat Fire Engine (2011) Ash Flat Fire Engine (2011)

ASH FLAT, AR (KAIT) – The Ash Flat Fire Department will soon have a permanent home after almost two years without one.

Crews began constructing a new fire station, located off Highway 62/412 near the Ash Flat Wal-Mart, in August and are now nearing completion.

"We're on the verge of getting our new station," said Stacy Horton, the Ash Flat fire chief.

Chief Horton says his department can move into the new 7,500-square foot facility in approximately three to four weeks.

This development comes after the city decided to convert the fire department's old station in 2011 into the new Ash Flat Library, which opened recently after renovations.

The department currently operates from several buildings near the new library. The City of Ash Flat even constructed a garage nearby to temporarily house three of its largest fire trucks.

Once the fire department leaves its current amenities, it will use the library as a substation.

The new firehouse features four bays with enough space to hold five vehicles. The facility also contains living quarters to house four workers as well as a training room, office space and a kitchen.

Crews have yet to install ceiling tiles in the fire station or seal the concrete floors among other small improvements left to complete.

"By the time we get painted on the inside and get things arranged," Horton said, "we'll get things moved over there and be able to operate."

The city secured a bond issue to build the facility, which cost about $478,000.

Horton hopes the new firehouse will help speed up response times and save local homeowners some money.

"When we get moved in," he added, "we'll probably call for an ISO (Insurance Services Office) inspection."

Horton would like to lower the city's ISO rating by two points. It is currently set at six.

The chief says the ISO rate is measured on a scale of one to 10 – the lower the score, the lower the probability of a dangerous fire.

 Horton says bringing down ISO will in turn bring down home insurance rates for residents.

"It's going to be a good place," Horton said. "We're proud to have it."

It is unclear when the city may undergo its ISO inspection, though the last time it did was in 1996.

The city also plans to host an open house for the public when the new fire station is up and running fully.

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