Indianapolis Fire Station Battle Heats Up

The Indianapolis Fire Department held a noon news conference in an effort to reassure residents that their fire protection would remain intact, but that did little to persuade residents and business owners


Residents are concerned about fire protection after the fire truck was taken from the fire station that serves Broad Ripple.

The fire truck at Station 32 pulled out of the bay for good Monday morning, leaving residents in the area questioning the quality of fire protection.

The Indianapolis Fire Department held a noon news conference in an effort to reassure residents that their fire protection would remain intact, but that did little to persuade residents and business owners, RTV6's Julie Pursley reported.

A rescue squad will remain at the Broad Ripple station, but residents worry that they won't get the protection they once had.

"I've talked to a bunch of people and they kind of think like I think that it's more of a comfort zone for it (the fire engine) to be here with all the restaurants around," said Steve Deboer, Qdoba Mexican Grill manager.

Two firefighters will stay at Station 32, down from four. The city made the move to save money.

"We have to figure out a way to plug big holes in the budget," said Indianapolis Deputy Mayor Steve Campbell. "We didn't get Indianapolis Works. We didn't get police consolidation, so we have to start from scratch and find ways to save money."

People who live and work in Broad Ripple told RTV6 the savings won't be worth it.

"What I'm concerned with is the response from the other stations won't be as quick and my home insurance is going to go up," said resident Robert Bees.

City-County Councilman Jim Bradford is vehemently opposed to the move.

"That's a fire station. If you take away a fire truck, it's not a fire station anymore," Bradford said. "They're going to put a rescue squad in it, so it's a rescue station. All these old buildings that you see out here, they're going to have to use garden hoses and sprayers and spray down these buildings."

The mayor's office said the residents and businesses of Broad Ripple will still have top-quality fire protection.

"As far as fire runs, we will still be able to meet the national standards as far as our response time," said Indianapolis Fire Department Capt. Gregg Harris.

Fire officials said there are three fire stations within close proximity to Broad Ripple, including one in Washington Township.

Copyright 2005 by TheIndyChannel.com All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.