The City of Killeen has a new fire station: Fire Station 9.
Fire Station 9 began operations on Monday, but will dedicate the station on Thursday.
The new station will serve the southwest area of Killeen with both fire and EMS response.
"We felt that as we grow, there is going to be certain spots that are kind of empty as far as fire stations so, we need to put that there," Jose Segarra, the Mayor of Killeen, said.
The station will also provide back-up fire protection to West Fort Hood.
Fire Station 9 is nearly 12,000 square feet and houses four engine bays, living quarters, office space and a training room. The building cost $4.5 million and the equipment was about another $1.3 million.
"In 2002, there was an election bond that happened and part of that bond was actually to build three fire stations," Mayor Segarra said.
Fire station 9 is the last of the three to be built to extend the coverage of the City of Killeen. Until now, the Station 9 area was served by Station 7.
"The difference between 9 responding or 7 responding could have been as much as five to six minutes difference," Killeen Fire Chief Brian Brank said.
The City of Killeen also received a $4.44 million grant from the Department of Homeland Security that will fund personnel at Fire Station 9 for a few years.
"It'll sustain us, as a city we still have to plan because over time, once that grant money is used up, then the city has to continue to fund those personnel," Mayor Segarra added.
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