GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - It appears an official date has been set for the closing of Gulfport Fire Station #4: Saturday, June 15th.
On his Facebook page Thursday night, Councilman R. Lee Flowers posted a letter from Gulfport Fire Chief Mike Beyerstedt. It told council members that the chief is working with the administration to close Station 4 by this Saturday.
The idea has received a lot of resistance from residents in the area who are concerned that it would effect response time in emergencies. Chief Beyerstedt assured council members in the letter that the closing will, in the end, be a positive move.
"While this change will minimally impact the initial response time for several hundred homes very close to Fire Station 4, the department's ability to assemble an effective firefighting force will be improved for more than three-quarters of the residences in Gulfport," Chief Beyerstedt wrote. (Read the entire letter here: http://on.fb.me/10gY0qi)
He said considerable research was done on the topic, and found the closure would not impact the city's fire rating or residents' insurance rates. The move is expect to save the city more than $200,000.