Iowa City Fire Department's Station 2 back, and better - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Iowa City Fire Department's Station 2 back, and better

IOWA CITY (KWWL) - After being out of commission for some time, Iowa City's Fire Station 2 is back.

On Sunday, the city held a public unveiling of the firehouse, which they say will mean better fire safety for western Iowa City.

After nearly 3 years, Fire Chief Andy Rocca is happy to say the facility is again ready for service.

"I think as you look around at our facility today," said Rocca, "the fire equipment, the firefighters, training, education, safety equipment, it's all first-class."

It replaces what Mayor Regenia Bailey and city council members called a cramped and inefficient structure. The new building fixes those problems, with motion sensing lights that automatically shut off to conserve energy, a geothermal heating system, and everything else firefighter Tim Bell calls essential to the job.

"The space is great, private bedrooms, the alarm systems are improved, much larger and cleaner quarters. We have room to train here, we have room to work out here, we have room to do everything a fire department should do," said Bell.

Chief Rocca and Mayor Bailey say the facility will also allow the department to better serve the University of Iowa ampus and the University hospitals and clinics.

Before Station 2 was rebuilt, its personnel and equipment were located in another part of the city. For a while, their response times to fires in the area went up a bit. But now, things are back to their normal 6 minutes or under benchmark.

"There was a relocation of firefighters as well as equipment," said Mayor Bailey, "so it did take a little longer to get to the west side, but the other responders in the county knew of the relocation, so I think they accomodated it."

Construction cost for the facility totaled about $2.2 million. Iowa City is now preparing to build a fourth fire station in the northeast part of town. It would cost an estimated $3 million.

Online Reporter - Brady Smith

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