Weatherford Democrat

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November 14, 2013

Council OKs fire station pact

On a 3-2 vote, Weatherford enters into joint agreement with ESD No. 3

(Continued)

“If we can save even one minute by having four firefighters on a truck instead of three, it will be worth it,” Rust said.

Even with the estimated 600 calls a year, or less than two a day, ESD No. 3 would add to Weatherford’s numbers, it would still make the former Station 2 the third busiest of the four stations, Rust said.

“The more active you are, the more chances you have to practice your skills, the better off you’re going to be as a firefighter or in any business,” City Manager Jerry Blaisdell said.

Blaisdell said the purchase of a $500,000 fire truck was taken out of a contentious FY 2014 budget because of the negotiations that were going on with ESD No. 3.

Mayor Pro Tem Craig Swancy, himself a retired Weatherford firefighter, said the fire trucks being used out of ESD No. 3 can come into the City of Weatherford as well.

“The [ESD No. 3] trucks can come this way as well,” Swancy said. “They will come wherever they are sent.” Council member Jeff Robinson said the contract is good for both parties involved.

“On a number of the ESD No. 3 calls, we’re going anyway right now. If we can get some monies for that, that’s a good thing,” Robinson said. “Having two stations that close together is a waste of taxpayer money in the long run. It sounds like this is going to save both entities some money.”

Rust said with the savings the department is expected to receive by not having to purchase a new fire engine, build a new station and acquire land, he hopes to bring salaries for the department firefighters up to the average for cities its size in Texas.

Since the contract is just for one year, Rust said it will give both entities time to adjust and fine turn it down the road.

“I feel this is in the best interest of the citizens of Weatherford,” Rust said. “This is a great way to avoid the future costs of a new truck, new facilities and land purchase. If it wasn’t I wouldn’t be up here talking about it.”

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