Fire Station #8 Task Force Update

In September 2015, following a recommendation from then Acting County Manager Mark Schwartz, the County Board created a task force to help determine the location of the new Fire Station #8. On December 15, 2015, the County Board appointed the Fire Station #8 Task Force, and Marguarite Gooden and I were selected to represent the John M. Langston Citizens Association.

The Task Force charge is to:

  • Review viable sites for a replacement Fire Station #8;
  • Identify potential sites that meet the Fire Department’s operational criteria to include:
    • Improve fire/EMS response times;
    • Location(s) that does not adversely affect response elsewhere in the County;
    • A site that is able to accommodate a 3 or 4 bay station with drive-through access and parking for 12 personal vehicles; and
    • A site on, in close proximity to, an arterial street;
  • Balance service needs with cost (both operating and capital); and
  • Recommend a site based on the consensus of the Task Force membership; however, if no consensus can be reached, provide 2-3 sites with justifications for each.

The Task Force will hold two meetings per month through April (open to the public) before delivering a recommendation in May. To date, we have developed a process for conducting our work, discussed some of the criteria to be considered when making a recommendation (e.g., response times, capital costs, and required features for the new Fire Station #8), visited two fire stations, including Fire Station #8, and drafted guiding principles, which are:

  • Consider/preserve the historical significance of Fire Station #8 while deliberating and drafting our report;
  • Evaluate the capabilities of, and impact on, emergency preparedness and response systems and personnel both for the present and the future while deliberating and drafting our report;
  • Evaluate operating and capital costs, including loss of opportunity costs, while deliberating and drafting our report; and
  • Actively and constructively communicate and work with one another, County government and the public in a civil, respectful and reasonable manner.

Please attend a Task Force meeting, listen as we discuss the issues, and share your perspective on what we should recommend to the County Board. For meeting dates and locations, visit