PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — Peoria Fire Station 4 is reopening Friday while another fire station is closing in its place.
“We’re doing the best we can with the resources that we’ve been provided,” said Peoria Fire Chief Tony Ardis.
Peoria Fire Station 4 on Jefferson Ave. closed on Thursday, Oct. 1. Station 8 is closing Friday, Nov. 13, but leaders said the process replaces one problem for another.
“At the end of the day, this is nothing more unfortunately than robbing Peter to pay Paul,” said Peoria Firefighters Local 50 President Ryan Brady.
After Station 4 closed, response times increased in the area.
“Those response times that we kind of warned everybody about actually, I hate to say this, came true and they were worse than what we had predicted,” said Brady.
Brady said response times were 90 seconds higher than estimated.
“Everybody says ‘oh it’s only another minute.’ Well, another minute, in our opinion, is the difference sometimes between life and death,” said Brady.
Chief Ardis believes switching the closure to Station 8 is going to create a domino effect. He said he will continue to monitor response times when Station 8 closes.
“When you make a change in one territory, it affects the entire city,” said Ardis. “It was kind of the best of the worst decision to look at Station 8 because they are surrounded by three stations. It’s not going to be a great situation, we do believe it’s going to be better than the one we’re in now.”
Brady believes no matter which station closes, it creates a gap in the fire department’s service.
“This creates a city wide issue for fire protection and our response to anything,” said Brady.
A new fire station is being built on Western Ave. Chief Ardis said it’s expected to open in September 2021, replacing Station 4.
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