Saratoga Springs opens 2nd Fire Station
New fire station to address response times
StoryDiscussionLance Madigan -
Saratoga Springs Fire Department has opened a second station towards the south end of town in what was the former police department trailer and is sharing space in the Public Works Department garage to store its equipment and vehicles. Lance Madigan photo .
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With little fanfare, the Saratoga Springs Fire Department officially opened its second station in the city.
Designated Fire Station 262 by Utah County Dispatch services, the second station is located 4.5 miles south of Saratoga Springs Four Corners at the former police offices trailer, 2015 S. Redwood Road. The 1,200 square-foot, double-wide mobile trailer was vacated when the Saratoga Springs Police Department moved into the space below the city offices on Commerce Drive.
"The reason this station was set up was for response times and insurance services office ratings, to keep them where they are at," Saratoga Springs Fire Chief Tim Hay said.
Emergency services used to take 10-12 minutes to get from the northern fire station off of state Route 68 to the south end of the city, Hay said.
"I was looking at some calls the other day, and response times were 5-6 minutes," he said of calls taken from the south station.
There are two firefighters at both stations 24/7, and when a call goes out for fire or paramedic service, both station's firefighters/paramedics respond. City Council members have talked about adding staff and making other changes as well.
"It has to be done," said City Councilman Brent Call, speaking on adding the second station. "That station has to be there to serve the southern end of the community. The mechanics are still in process."
"We are going to order a second ambulance, and the intention is for that to go down here too," Hay said. "It will be ordered here in the next month. It will probably be in here in the next month. So it probably won't be in until the late fall."
Currently, the second station has one fire engine, a wildland fire brush truck, and the rescue boat for water responses off of Utah Lake.
Saratoga Springs responds to all fire and medical calls from Camp Williams to the north to Mile Post 15 to the south, or 10 miles past the city's southern boundary.
"There isn't much down there," Hay said. "There are very few homes and a dairy farm but not much. Wildland fires are our big thing down south."
The Saratoga Springs Fire Department received a Federal Emergency Management Agency Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response grant last year to help pay for more firefighters.
"SAFER grant phases out after four years," he said. "First year, well, when they say they pay 90 percent that isn't entirely correct. They pay up to a certain amount. They pay $39,000-something per position the first year. It goes down a little the second year and then makes a pretty just jump the third year. The fourth it is down to about 30 percent. The fifth year you are on your own. It was salvation for us."