Director Answers Questions Over Fire Station Changes

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(Memphis) Residents in North Memphis were able to question fire director Alvin Benson during a city council committee meeting Tuesday.

Their concerns centered on the fact that the engine truck at fire station 6 will be decommissioned and replaced with a ladder truck.

“Why are you taking the most essential piece of equipment from there and replacing it with a support piece of equipment?” resident and retired firefighter Lawrence Reed asked.

At issue is that the engine truck that will be decommissioned has fire suppression capability and the ladder truck replacing it does not suppress fires or carry water.

“It will not have fire suppression or water capability. It will have the ladder truck there it will provide first aid and medical type of care,” said Benson.

“There are a number of engines that are required for this city. There are a number of ladder trucks that are required for this city. We took six ladder trucks out of service over the past three years. We cannot continue to take more and more ladder trucks out of our system, because we have to have ladder trucks to support those engines,” explained Benson.

Residents said now they are concerned there will be a longer response time for any fire.

“The creed is seconds count, for some reason it’s changed to minutes count,” added Reed.

Benson said he has to cut two fire companies or trucks.

A ladder truck will be decommissioned from Station 48 on Raleigh Lagrange. The engine at station 6 will be decommissioned and replaced with a ladder truck from station 1 on Jackson Avenue.