Austin's newest joint fire, EMS station receives grand opening
AUSTIN, Texas - City leaders and first responders gathered for the official ribbon-cutting of a new joint AFD/ATCEMS station on Westlake Drive in West Austin.
In 2018, Austin City Council members passed a resolution to build five new stations in six years.
"Through a pandemic and several city budget cycles, I’ve worked with AFD, ATCEMS, Austin Public Works and my council colleagues to champion the allocation of funds for station construction and staffing," said city council member Alison Alter, who oversees District 10 where the station is located.
The state-of-the-art facility is environmentally friendly and will staff 10 firefighters and four EMS members.
"They’re here every third day of their life, in the station 24 hours a day," said Chief Joel Baker of AFD. "So they need to have some comfort as well as a clean working environment, a safe environment to work in. This station will provide that."
Chief Baker said they have already seen an improvement in response times in its first couple of months in operation.
According to the city, AFD has an average response time goal of within eight minutes, 90 percent of the time. ATCEMS has a goal of within 10 minutes, 90 percent of the time.
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"We know the City of Austin and Travis County are growing at unprecedented rates, and we have to be able to keep up with the infrastructure growth," said Chief Robert Luckritz of ATCEMS. "This station is a testimonial to that ability to be able to keep up from a public safety perspective. And we know that if the city grows, we're going to need to do more of this investment."
As part of the resolution, a new station in Del Valle opened in 2020, and another opened in southwest Austin in 2021. Two more are planned for northwest Austin and southeast Austin.