The Free Press, Mankato, MN

Local News

December 9, 2012

Fire department response time a key issue to neighborhood



In addition to the new Fire Station 1 and the fire station on Madison Avenue, Fire Station 3 is on Pohl Road in south Mankato. The old Fire Station 2 on State Street has been used as a storage building for years. When the new station is built on Augusta Drive, it will become Fire Station 2.

When the decision was made to eventually close the Madison Avenue fire station, Miller said he would continue to staff the station at night and on weekends with volunteers and, when available, full-time firefighters. In a response to Smith’s email, Miller told the City Council staffing levels had only allowed him to staff the Madison Avenue station for five nights during most of November.

“I am very sensitive to Mr. Smith’s concerns about having three fire stations open and operational as this is what we believe is necessary not only for the safety of all citizens in Mankato but for our ISO rating as well,” Miller said. “Mr. Smith is correct that since we moved the main fire station to the new Public Safety Center early this month we have not been able to staff the Madison Avenue station every night.”

Miller explained that the Fire Department’s lieutenants were told to staff the Madison Avenue station whenever they have at least eight full-time and volunteer firefighters on duty who are trained and qualified to start an interior attack for a fire. That would allow the city to have at least three firefighters each at the new Fire Station 1 and Fire Station 3, and at least two firefighters at the Madison Avenue station.

“It’s as thin as we can effectively spread our resources across three stations,” Miller said in the email.

Fire Lt. Scott LeBrun said the Madison Avenue Station was staffed the night of Hood’s fire. However, the fire started before the firefighters arrived at 6 p.m. Miller also said a portion of Smith’s email was incorrect because at least one fire truck is always kept at each station.

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