By Conrad Dudderar
With development on Yukon’s west side, the Yukon Fire Department is seeking the public’s support for a proposal to build a new fire station in that part of town.
The City of Yukon has two fire stations.
The YFD headquarters, 1000 E Main, opened in 2012 on the east side of Yukon.
YFD station two, 302 S 5th, is in the central part of Yukon and had previously served as Yukon’s main fire station since the 1960s.
Yukon Fire Chief Shawn Vogt, citing the community’s growth, shared why Yukon needs a third fire station.
“We have the forecasted growth in the western part of the city with the Frisco Road interchange coming in,” Vogt said. “We know that is going to bring more traffic and more people to that area.”
“To stay proactive and plan for the future, we’d like a station located closer to that side of the city as that area starts to develop and grow.”
Significant economic development is projected after the new Interstate 40/Frisco Road interchange opens late this summer. City leaders anticipate major retail growth along the Frisco Road corridor and surrounding areas.
The Yukon City Council will consider calling a 2022 bond issue or sales tax election to fund various civic projects, among them a new fire station, library, sports park, and infrastructure upgrades.
Public feedback will be solicited through community surveys proposed Aug. 16-31, with several town hall meetings this fall.
No decision has been made on where a third Yukon fire station would be built, if approved by voters. In any case, YFD headquarters will remain at 1000 E Main.
“We don’t need a new station like this – our headquarters station, which has our administration offices,” Vogt explained. “We just need a smaller, two- or three-bay station on the west side of the city.”
INCREASED CALL VOLUME
Meanwhile, the YFD’s call volume has increased about 15% over the past six months.
“We responded to over 3,200 calls for service last year, and we’re on pace to have 3,800-4,000 this year,” Chief Vogt said.
Some 80% of Yukon Fire’s calls are emergency medical-related.
“It’s all about quick responses,” Yukon’s fire chief noted. “We pride ourselves on doing a good job for the citizens on our medical runs.”
The fire department has seen a steady increase in traffic accidents and medical-aid calls – from heart attacks to falls to heat-related injuries, according to Deputy Fire Chief Kyle Trumbly.
Average response time is 4-1/2 minutes, Trumbly added.
“We strive for that regularly,” he said. “Anytime we experience more growth and more traffic, that can cause us not to meet that standard. We want to keep that up.”
Yukon Fire now has 39 firefighting personnel, with 13 each assigned to three shifts.
If 2019, the YFD received a $415,068 Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) federal grant to pay salaries of three more firefighters over a three-year period. The grant added one firefighter per shift.
In 2020, the department earned a $232,000 Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Assistance to Firefighters grant to purchase 36 new self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) units.