New Fire Stations?

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"With the growth on the southside and northside, that's increasing our response time," says Mayor Elaine Walker.

Population growth around Bowling Green is prompting the city and the fire department to look into adding new fire stations to the five current ones around the city.

The current sites for two proposed stations are the Greenwood area and the area near the city's Transpark.

"Both will provide us an opportunity for quicker response in those areas. They are both areas that are growing and in our business, its all about how fast you can arrive at an emergency," says Bowling Green Fire Assistant Chief of Suppression, Greg Johnson

Recently, it has taken nearly 15 minutes for fire personnel to get to the scenes of fires in the south and north parts of Bowling Green.

A response time that's more than the fire department wants.

"Our target arrival of at least one company is at least 5 minutes. And for some of the areas that have been annexed, we're pushing that now. We need to expand if we can."

The city wants to hire a total of 15 fire personnel for the Greenwood station and within the next ten years have 36 fire fighters hired to man both stations.

Mayor Walker says some of these fire officials are being hired now so when the new stations open they will be ready.

"When you know you're going to build a station, you need to start hiring because you can't open a station and bring on new recruits. They've got to be into the system and they've got to be trained and acclimated to the system and then you will fully man your stations. "

Mayor Walker hopes to have the Greenwood Fire Station completed by 2010.

The mayor also says the Greenwood project as well as any other expansions would be paid for by an annual income from the city insurance premium tax as well as a $6.1 million city bond.