You may not have heard, but we recently brought Fire Engine 60 back into service. The return of Engine 60 is a long time coming for the communities of Brownsville Maher Woods and East of Old Brownsville, and this is just the start. We are committed to making the largest investment in the Shelby County Fire Department in recent memory.
After attending town halls and community meetings, I have repeatedly heard from members of our community that their top priority is public safety, including protection from the risk of fire. If we don’t invest in our fire department, chances are we will see increased loss of property from fire and, worse, lives in danger.
That’s why we brought Fire Engine 60 back. That’s why we will do more.
Our plan calls for a $32 million investment in the Shelby County Fire Department. I believe this investment represents a historic commitment to public safety.
Right now, the Shelby County Fire Department answers more than 16,000 calls each year. Our massive investment in public safety means that the fire department will be in a position to reduce the emergency response time for underserved areas in Shelby County and enhance services for more than 45,000 homes and over 118,000 residents.
The increased funding will allow us to invest in critical resources, fire stations, fire trucks, and more fire and medical staff.
Specifically, we plan to build two new fire stations, one in South Cordova and one in the Southwind area. Currently, in some areas of unincorporated Shelby County, the closest station is over 10 minutes away. This can be a problem in emergency situations where every second counts. According to the U.S. Fire Administration, a small house fire can rage out of control in less than 30 seconds. It only takes minutes for flames to engulf a house.
Additionally, in the next few years, our planned investment means that the fire department will be in a position to purchase four new fire trucks, add four new fire crews, hire 41 new firefighter emergency medical technicians and paramedics, and purchase a variety of safety equipment and new technologies.
Let me thank the men and women of the Shelby County Fire Department for their ongoing dedication to our community. We are grateful to have a team of firefighters and medical crews who are willing to put their lives on the line in an emergency.
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