Bigger City Means Growing Pains For Ankeny Fire Department

Emergency Crews Say A New Station Is Needed

By Nikki Davidson | ndavidson@weareiowa.com

Published 07/27 2015 11:18PM

Updated 07/27 2015 11:18PM

Ankeny has been named the fastest growing city in Iowa, but with that expansion comes some growing pains for emergency workers. 

When the population grows, so does the amount of time it takes for first responders to get to an emergency scene. 

Ankeny now has more than 50,000 residents but only two fully staffed ambulances and fire trucks ready to go at a moments notice, leaving fire crews hoping for more. 

The City Council set a standard response time for fire crews at 8 minutes. The Fire Department is required to hit that standard on 80% of their calls, they currently are hitting that 8 minute standard 87% of the time. 

Fire Chief James Clack says however, as the population continues to grow the harder it will be to keep response times down. 

"The outcomes get worse the longer it takes for us to get there," said Clack. "As we grow we'll get further behind the curve." 

Chief Clack says Ankeny needs a third fire station to best serve the community. A proposal for Fire Station 3 is included in a capital improvement plan for 2017 in the City of Ankeny. At this time there is no clear plan for how the multi-million dollar project will be paid for. 

Ankeny Career Firefighters 4814 Union President Jeff Wells says other cities around the metro have faster response times.

"Other communities have a lower number, they shoot for maybe 6 or 4 minutes," said Wells. 

Wells says it's important that city sticks with it's plan to create a third fire station for 2017 because response times in that area of the city are slow. 

"When you response to those calls it seems like an eternity, because you know you're job is going to be harder when you get there."

 

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