MFD to close fire station, decommission ladder - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

MFD to close fire station, decommission ladder truck

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Memphis firefighters have answered calls from station number 6 on North Thomas St for more than 60 years. Memphis firefighters have answered calls from station number 6 on North Thomas St for more than 60 years.
MEMPHIS, TN -
(WMC-TV) - A North Memphis fire station will be closed by August 1 due to the city's budget crunch.

Memphis firefighters have answered calls from station number 6 on North Thomas St for more than 60 years. Yet, union leaders say the fire department has already cut more than 100 positions in recent years. Although they are concerned about the impact to both safety and insurance rates if or when other fire stations start to close.

It has been part of Helen Brown's front porch view since 1972.

"That's the reason I don't want it closed ... 'Cause it's too close to the house. I'm over here, can get there in a minute," said Brown.

City officials confirmed Tuesday that station number 6 would shut down, effective August 1st.

Also at that time, a ladder truck at the station on Raleigh-LaGrange Road will also be decommissioned.

Decisions were driven by the city's budget crunch.

"I talked with the mayor during this budget time and the CAO, they told me the fire department would be the last ones impacted. Now, we're the first ones out of the chute," said Memphis Fire Association president Thomas Malone.

Union leaders say the fire department has already cut more than 100 positions in recent years. They worry about impacts on both safety and insurance rates when stations start to close.

In an email, fire director Alvin Benson said the below of station 6:

"Closing this station will create the least impact on operations."

He said three nearby stations will pick up the slack.

But station number 6's longtime neighbor is not convinced.

"[I] think they should do something else besides close fire stations down, the police, and all that kind of stuff," said Brown.

Increased healthcare costs and an inability to refinance bonds are just a couple of the financial challenges the city still faces. Other service reductions are not out of the question.

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