New fire station will be critical to Waukesha FD's response times

WAUKESHA - Construction on a new fire station on Waukesha's southwest side is continuing on schedule. 

The new station, at 2440 State Highway 59, is going to replace the existing Fire Station 3 on Sentry Drive just North of Sunset Drive. 

It's expected to open in late February, and the fire department would move in during the first week of March. 

The new station will contain an apparatus bay that houses up to four Waukesha FD vehicles. 

It'll be staffed by a minimum of five firefighters at all times, just like the current Station 3. 

Waukesha Fire Chief Steve Howard said the new facility will improve response times to homes in a pocket of Waukesha's Southwest corner -- near Waukesha West High School. 

Right now, the response time to some of those properties can be nine minutes or more depending on the traffic and time of day, Howard said.

The new fire station would cut them down to a maximum of seven minutes. 

"Whether it's stabilizing a patient or starting to suppress a fire, the quicker we can respond, normally, the better results we have," Howard said. 

Howard said the city has been working to get all homes covered by a maximum response time of seven minutes for more than a decade. 

The building of Fire Station 5 and the moving of Fire Station 2 helped to accomplish that goal on Waukesha's West and Northeast sides, respectively, Howard said.  

The movement of Fire Station 3 to the new location is the final phase of the city's plan. 

"I think it's really contributing to the quality of life here, and those good services that we're able to provide to our citizens," Howard said. 

The new Fire Station 3 will also house a Waukesha Police Department substation. 

When it's finished, the total cost of the project will be almost $5 million. 

Right now, there's no plan for what the city will do to with the existing Fire Station 3. 

Howard said there will likely be a building study conducted before Waukesha officials decide whether to re-purpose or sell the old fire station, which was built in 1981. 

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