A new multimillion-dollar fire station opened in Fort Smith Monday morning (Feb. 24). Four fire trucks and 18 firefighters will call the new station home, according to Fire Chief Mike Richards.
The station is the 11th in the city and is located along Massard Road at Chaffee Crossing. Although there are 10 other stations serving the Fort Smith area, this is the first station to be built near the growing Chaffee Crossing area.
This new station will serve Chaffee Crossing as well as the southeast portion of the city and will cut response times to those areas in half, Chief Richards said.
"The rest of the city is about a three minute, thirteen second response time," he said. "Out here [at Chaffee Crossing] it was seven or eight minutes or longer. Now, we can have response times out here equal to the rest of Fort Smith."
Chief Richards said the architect incorporated energy efficient technology into the new facility including many features built to LEED standards.
Construction of Station 11 began in January of 2013. Richards said the building was designed to capture the historical significance of Fort Chaffee and Fort Smith's "rich military background."
Anyone interested in touring the new facility is invited to an open house and dedication on Thursday, March 6. Tours kick off at 4 p.m. with the dedication following at 5. Parking will be available at the Janet Huckabee Arkansas River Valley Nature Center. A shuttle service will be provided.