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City of Radford studies fire and EMS service needs

(WDBJ)
Published: Dec. 4, 2019 at 10:39 PM EST
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Radford’s City Council has approved a study that will look over how its fire and EMS are serving the area, and where improvements or changes could come.

Mayor David Horton said the decision comes after their eyes were opened to challenges the city faces after fire and EMS were combined in 2018.

“We want to make sure that we’re planning not only for today in Radford, but for tomorrow and the needs that might arise in the future,” Horton said. “We want to be fully supportive of their needs and so we want to make sure that we understand what their needs are today and how those needs are going to evolve and change over the next few years.”

The city’s fire and rescue station on Wadsworth Street has served as the city’s only firehouse since the 80’s. Horton said it was originally built to be an auxiliary station to one on the corner of Main and Arlington Streets., but that burned down in the early 1980's.

The space may no longer be the city’s only station after this five-month study is completed. Adding a new one is one of many options that will be explored.

“This is part of the overall vision for Radford,” Horton said. “We’re trying to be as forward-looking as possible and we use data to make our decisions. We’re going to do a study before we make any major investment.”

Because construction and growth continue in the community, Horton said engineers and architects will compare similar communities across the commonwealth to see what other facilities are doing, and what trends are emerging for fire safety and EMS.

“We want to make sure that it’s going to meet our needs as a community as we continue to grow and continue to move forward as businesses move to town, as new residents move to town,” Horton said. “Safety is our top priority and we want to make sure that they’re taken care of.”

The city approved $50,000 toward the study. That money was budgeted last year. The city is hopeful the study will help them prepare for next year’s budget for the needs that are determined from the five-month study.

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