Gautier's new fire station expected to lower insurance rates - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Gautier's new fire station expected to lower insurance rates

GAUTIER, MS (WLOX) -

Work is officially underway that could help some Gautier residents rest a little easier at night. Officials said the contractor received notice to proceed this week for building a new fire station in an area the city annexed in 2003.

Gautier officials said the city has budgeted roughly $1 million for a new fire station on Brown Road. The fire chief said having a fourth station will greatly reduced response time which can save lives.

Gautier firefighters test their equipment every day to make sure that when a call comes in they are ready to respond. Right now, the chief said responding to the far west end of the town takes more time than he'd like.

"We're responding from our three present locations which are a great distance from the area out there," said Gautier Fire Chief Ray Frair. "The closest is at Central Station here which puts it at about five and a half miles. I've been involved with fire service for almost 40 years, and I know that time and distance can means lives. So being closer we're cutting our response time down in half for even the furthest point."

On Wednesday, crews started work on a new fire station on Brown Road.

"It's going to have a double apparatus bay. We'll put an engine company out there which will be staffed by a minimum of two people," Chief Frair said. "We'll have a sleeping quarters because you know we work a 24 hour shift."

Residents on and around Brown Road said  they're happy about quicker response time. However, they're concerned if the street can handle the fire trucks.

"In the end result it'll be a good neighbor to have but in the interim I have grave concerns about the safety of the egress and ingress of our land blocked road. We only have one way in and one way out," said resident Kathy Nesbitt. "Four school buses have to travel this road everyday because of two different school districts. I have a grave concern that the width of the road and thickness of the road especially so from the fire department back west to 57 minimum. So that they may pass each other safely and so we don't have a collision with a school bus trying to come in and a fire truck trying to go out."

Gautier Mayor Tommy Fortenberry said money has been allocated to improve Brown Road from the fire station west to Highway 57, and to install emergency lights to let traffic know a fire truck is exiting. The mayor said the additional fire station means there will be a station within five miles of every home in Gautier, which should lower insurance rates.

Copyright 2013 WLOX. All rights reserved.

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