COLORADO SPRINGS — As the city of Colorado Springs continues to grow so will the fire department. Colorado Springs Fire Department (CSFD) plans to build four stations and will need 200 personnel in the next five to 7 years.
Two of the four future fire stations will be in the northeast part of town.
One of those stations will be Station 23 and CSFD hopes to have the ground breaking in less than a month. Station 23 crew has been in their temporary home at the headquarters off Printers Parkway for a while, but by 2023 they’ll move into the brand new 5 million dollar facility a few feet away in an open field on the same property.
“We fully understand that we as a fire department have to work on the restraints of our community and the tax laws so that is why we try and have these conversations early on so we can move towards having the funding both people and stations,” Fire Chief Randy Royal said.
Station 23’s location is in the middle of surrounding districts to take some of the work load off the other stations. CSFD also partnered with the city’s radio shop to help with the financial burden.
“So half of the building will be the radio shop, there will be bays to get their radios worked on those type of things, installed and the other half will be our fire station,” Chief Royal explained.
CSFD expects to go on over 70,000 calls this year. Standard medical calls is 8 minutes or less, structure fires is 12 minutes, according to Chief Royal.
“That is where we are concerned, we don’t want to see that number drop off over time because we don’t have the stations where we need them,” Chief Royal added.
With the additional fire stations comes more manpower. The fire chief said recruitment isn’t an issue, they have over a thousand applicants but only 50 spots to fill this year. Kayla Nocon is one of the hopeful future firefighters and plans on applying.
“I joined the explorer program and it definitely taught me that this is where I want to be and so I’m excited to join the fire service,” Nocon said.
Colorado Springs Fire Department currently has 467 firefighters and 72 civilian staff, the next class of firefighters begin the academy next month.