AUSTIN (KXAN) — The temporary closure of a downtown Austin fire station has some people worried about response times.
According to the Austin Firefighters Association, Fire Station 1 located on Fifth and Trinity streets closed suddenly after the building was condemned during construction.
Both EMS and Austin Fire Department crews who work out of the station were moved to other stations around the city until the building is remodeled.
“It has three units in it,” said Austin Firefighters Association President Bob Nicks. “It is the busiest unit in the city of Austin.”
Nicks said while the closure is just temporary, not having an operating station in the core of the city can impact response times all over.
“I can’t emphasize how much — what a dangerous condition this is to have no units downtown in the 10th largest city in the nation,” Nicks said. “All these other stations that surround this block are pulled in. What is called coverage calls, so what happens is their response times become longer getting here and the response times for citizens in their areas become longer because now they are out on call.”
Nicks said he is hoping the city and county can help with a temporary station somewhere downtown. He is hoping they can find a vacant lot for crews to set up in as the building is being worked on.
AFD told KXAN it is working with Travis County on a facilities solution to bring back units to the city core.
Nicks said until they get something set up, people living in and around downtown could be at a higher risk of danger.
“People are at a higher risk of suffering injury, loss of life and loss of property,” Nicks said.
AFD and EMS crews left the station on Oct. 13.
The engines and ladder that usually run out of Station 1 have been moved to fire stations 51, 6 and 32.