SPRINGDALE (KFSM) -- Springdale Fire Department is one of 300 departments in the nation with a special classification.
They've achieved a Class 1 Public Protection Classification. The Insurance Services Office classifies this by looking at the departments overall fire protection within the city.
They take into account the emergency dispatch center, water supply and the fire department.
Rogers and Fort Smith Fire Departments also have these classifications.
In order to keep residents safe and decrease response times the Fire Department wants to build three new fire stations.
One of those may be built at Ball and Carrie Smith Roads next to where a park will be built.
“It will make me feel a lot better. You just never know when something like that could happen and it`s practically right around the corner,” Tish Hartigan said.
Chief Mike Irwin said the current response time to that area is about 15 minutes which he said is unacceptable and said the size of a fire doubles every minute.
“Obviously from a fire perspective it`s very important but even more so on the EMS side. If you have somebody who is in cardiac arrest, we all know that the quicker we get there the more (of a ) chance we have of survival of that patient,” Irwin said.
The future Fire Station 7 would be built in the Har-Ber area in the western part of town where there is a lot of growth.
“The faster, the better when we need them. So it`s pretty good for us and pretty good for the neighborhood too,” Dany Polain said.
Irwin said the response time to this area depends on traffic but is usually around eight or nine minutes.
“Probably when I first got here when we first looked at addressing that issue we were more around the 6 and a half to seven minutes. So we`ve probably added about a minute on the response time thus far just mainly due to traffic counts,” Irwin said.
Springdale residents will decide if these new stations are built during the 2018 bond issue election but the date for that hasn’t yet been set by city council.
Chief Irwin estimates the total cost off all three new stations would be $13.5 million. That includes fire trucks and equipment.