JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Maurice Christopher said he rides his bike up and down Middleburg Road several times a week, so he notices all the additions.
Friday, he told Action News Jax that he has been watching construction on Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department’s new station for almost a year.
Christopher said he’s happy the firehouse is complete. “They’re so close. We’ve had a situation like everyone’s had where you need them right now,” the homeowner explained.
Action News Jax reported in June of 2019 when JFRD and city leaders broke ground on Station 61. Friday, they returned for the ribbon cutting as the firehouse officially started serving the Argyle Forest, Oakleaf area.
In 2018, Chief Keith Powers told Action News Jax emergency response times in the area were below the national average at about 9 minutes. Friday, he said the new location cuts those times down to 4.5 minutes for 4 schools, 200 businesses and 14,300 homes.
“It was outside of 5 road miles from any of our current fire stations. The insurances are extremely high in this area. As of this morning, those rates are fixing to drop,” Powers described.
Christopher said he’s glad they finally have first responders so close to home.
He said, “Jacksonville is growing at such a rate that I just hope they keep up – that’s the trick is to keep up with the rate of Jacksonville’s growth.”
JFRD said they’re in the process of buying land for a new station in Arlington. The department also said they’re getting ready to break ground on another station in the area of Gate Parkway.
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