Colorado Springs Fireplace Division Planning New Stations, Charges Colorado Springs Information
The Colorado Springs Fire Department is preparing to build a handful of new stations in the coming years to serve the rapidly growing community and may need new development fees to cover the costs.
The crews could lay the foundation for a $ 5 million fire station and radio shop next to the division’s headquarters east of downtown in the coming months.
The department anticipates four more stations will be needed to serve the community in north and east Colorado Springs over a period of about seven years, fire chief Randy Royal said.
The agency will also need to increase staff from about 525 to about 728 in 2026, according to a staffing forecast communicated to the Colorado Springs city council earlier this month.
The department aims to keep up with a growing population, which sent 45,102 emergency calls to the department in 2007 and will place about 70,000 people this year, Royal said.
“We want to try to stay ahead,” he said of the growth.
The new station on Printers Parkway, slated for completion sometime next year, will replace the temporary space for a four-person crew at headquarters, he said. The team lives in classrooms, conference rooms and office space in the main building, said Mike Smaldino, spokesman for the department.
The new train station offers regular living space and two parking spaces for vehicles. Half of the building will be reserved for city workers who repair and replace radios in all departments of the city, including the police. The current radio store is pretty old and outdated, and housing both services in the same building makes financial sense, Royal said.
The train station in the city center is supposed to relieve the four surrounding stations, which answer most calls for help every year. Everyone responds to 6,000 to 7,500 calls annually, department data shows. The slowest stations respond to 500 to 1500 calls each year.
Most of the calls are related to medical services such as car accidents, shootings, heart attacks, and broken hips.
The next new station will likely be built in the northwest of the city and the next could be built in the northern Banning Lewis Ranch. The east side of the city will likely need two more stations, including one east of the airport, to service all of the new commercial development, Royal said.
Mayor John Suthers expects a total of three stations to be built over the next five years, including the one east of downtown.
The fire department also wants to add crews working with SUVs to respond to patients who have less severe medical needs, such as sprained ankles, Royal said.
The department is required to respond to less serious calls for liability reasons, but sending SUVs to those calls could set other crews free to respond to heart attacks and other critical needs, he said. A new medical navigator in shipping could also help advise patients on other care options outside of 911.
The department would like to start with four to six of the new teams, but when they start will depend on the city’s available funds, as will any expansions the department is planning.
“We also know that the city has certain restrictions, we can only budget that much. … This is a bigger discussion to see where the needs are across the city, ”he said.
Funding the division’s growth is expected to require new development fees and the mayor’s administration is working to determine how much these could cost. Fees could also help fund the police agency’s needed growth, including new officers and a new substation, Suthers said.
The fees could apply to infill development and newly annexed land. Suthers employees are now talking to developers about it, he said. The right balance is important as the fees are passed on to the home buyer.