Christine Lee, NBC 5 Irving and Grand Prairie Reporter
The Grand Prairie Fire Department will soon switch out some equipment to make Fire Station 8 more efficient but some in the community it serves are concerned.
The Grand Prairie Fire Department's restructuring plan is facing some criticism from residents who say they fear the less equipment at one station could result in inadequate service.
The department will soon switch out some of the equipment at Station No. 8, the city's northernmost station, to become more efficient. The fire department is in the midst of a yearlong reorganization.
"A lot of effort has gone into it," Fire Capt. Joe Harvey said. "Overall, I think it increases our level of service and our safety to what could be considered on par with the national standard of care."
Station No. 8 currently has one fire truck, one fire engine, and one part-time ambulance. It has seven crew members per shift who respond to about a handful of calls a day.
"What we're proposing to do is combine the fire engine and fire truck into a quint apparatus staffed with a minimum of four people and put an ambulance in service full-time," Fire Chief Robert Fite said.
Station 8 covers a large industrial area as well as some residential neighborhoods, including Bear Creek, Fite said.
Gloria L. Oliver, who lives in Bear Creek, said she is concerned about the changes. She said she thinks one truck and one ambulance is not enough to cover both the business and residential populations.
Less equipment at her nearby fire station could mean critical delays when emergency services are needed, she said.
"Because the equipment is new and improved, it doesn't mean that it's going to serve the needs of a community and an industrial community should an emergency arise," she said.
But Fite, who joined the fire department in November, disagrees.
"I can tell you as fire chief, we are not jeopardizing anybody's safety," he said.
The fire department, which welcomes public input, will hold a number of community meetings about the changes.