Temporary vs. Permanent Station



Temporary vs. Permanent Station

So far in our discussion series, we have provided information concerning two of the four discussion points on the new Westlake Fire/Emergency Services (EMS) Station. In week one, we explained how the temporary current facility is inadequate as it relates to life safety issues and its unsustainable capacity. In week two, we learned about the importance of the station's location and accessibility - critical for essential service delivery to all citizens in Westlake.

This week, our discussion revolves around the investment of a new station and why it is crucial for Westlake to have a permanent modern fire-EMS facility instead of a temporary station.

Did you know...

  • Our fire-EMS paramedics have been in the temporary fire station for over 12 years? Town ordinances prohibit private developers from having temporary structures like this for more than 90 days. The Town should meet its own standards.
  • Westlake has over $1.8 million invested in emergency vehicles, equipment, and apparatus under a temporary metal roof at the current temporary station?
  • Over the last 6 years, an average 85% of residents surveyed ranked public safety as one of their top three choices in most important services the Town offers?
  • Customer satisfaction ratings regarding the quality of fire & emergency medical services have steadily increased, averaging 86% for fire and 85% for emergency medical services, over the last 6 years surveyed?
  • Over the last 10 years, the number of lives and property needing protection in Westlake has increased dramatically? For example, the growth over this time period has caused the value in in Westlake's commercial property to increase by 119% and the residential property value increased by 275%. Further, in residential population alone, we have experienced a growth of 238%!

Our Town has clearly experienced significant growth over the last 10-12 years in number of residents and daytime business/visitor population, as well as in residential and commercial square footage. This progression has impacted our Fire and EMS call volume, making it more difficult for our Fire Department to provide the highest quality of service in the confines of our current temporary station. A larger permanent (modern) station will allow our emergency service providers to serve our community with updated services, meeting emergency response industry standards for years to come.

An expanded, more permanent facility will allow us to better protect and serve our most important assets, our firefighter/paramedics. It also better protects our expensive emergency vehicles, equipment and apparatus, lengthening the useful life of this major investment.

The additional space provided by a new facility will allow the following:

  • Increased bay space providing the necessary room for conducting apparatus/equipment checks, performing routine maintenance, and accessing the equipment
  • Proper equipment storage and cleaning, extending the life of the assets and protecting personnel
  • Space for appropriate breathing air fill station - separate from the apparatus bays - which will provide a safer environment to conduct this activity
  • Space to house a back-up generator needed for emergency equipment
  • A separate area from the bay area to store personal protection equipment, eliminating the absorption of dangerous chemicals and diesel exhaust
  • A possible medical treatment area for residents and citizens in distress from nearby intersections and adjacent walking trails
  • Protection of personnel and equipment from severe weather events
  • Expanded parking - not only for department personnel but also for visiting residents
  • Protection from various varmints that frequently invade the temporary station and damage equipment (despite prevention efforts!)

Next Tuesday we will wrap up the series with a discussion about the funding plan for the new station. We also want to hear from you! Make plans to attend the Westlake Fire-EMS Station Town Forum on Tuesday, September 20, 6:30 p.m., in the Multi-Purpose Hall on the Westlake Academy Campus. More details will be provided addressing the necessity for a new station, new location, funding and subsequent design.

You may also submit questions about this project to fireemsstation@westlake-tx.org.

Please utilize this opportunity to discuss this important matter with your Town officials. When you express your concerns, needs and wants for your community, and where you think tax dollars should be spent, it helps town leaders plan appropriately and best serve the community. Your involvement matters!

Responding Today - Preparing for Tomorrow

Don't miss the final article's discussion point...Funding for the New Station

The Fire-EMS Station Town Forum was held on September 20th, 2016

We will be holding a second Fire-EMS Town Forum once design renderings are available; estimated 2017 - Q1. Stay tuned for updates!