FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – A half-dome tent and a portable trailer on an empty piece of property off I-30 constitute the newest official fire station in Fort Worth.
Approved, built and equipped in three months, the temporary station opened on New Year’s Day and provided protection to the fast-growing communities on the far western outskirts of the city.
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So far, there is room for only one motor to park in the tent.
The living space for the 12 firefighters attached to Station 43 is cramped.
However, it is not limited to emergency preparedness.
“In terms of capacity, this fire station is capable of doing what any other fire station in the city fort worth doing,” said department spokesman Mike Drivdahl.
So far, fire preparedness for the area has come from two stations up to six miles away and at least 10 minutes drive.
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There was also assistance as needed from Aledo and Willow Park. Drivdahl described it as a constant juggling, even though call volume has grown.
Demand is growing on the west side with the expansion of Walsh, a development that is ultimately expected to have as many as 18,000 homes.
Further development is underway to the north and south, and Lost Creek Estates is located just east of the new station.
The city decided to move on with the temporary construction instead of waiting for a new traditional facility.
“We are in unprecedented times, with construction, delays in construction due to materials,” Drivdahl said. “We were able to get this station up and running, very quickly.”
It is not clear how long the temporary station will be used. A report delivered to city council members who approved the station in September said the lease on the property is for two years.
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Drivdahl said the department also sees the idea as a plan for future use, whether it is for growth or when needed during a renovation or even a natural disaster that could damage an existing station.