Editor’s note: A previous version of this article previously referred to the Goodnight Ranch neighborhood as the incorrect name. The story has been updated to reflect the change.

AUSTIN (KXAN) — The city will break ground on the newest joint fire-EMS station as part of a bigger project to increase the emergency response times in areas around Austin that have expanded in recent years.

The new station, located at 9400 Capitol View Dr., right near the Goodnight Ranch neighborhood in southeast Austin, will be the fourth joint station built by the city in the past five years.

  • Fire-EMS joint station groundbreaking
  • Fire-EMS joint station groundbreaking
  • Fire-EMS joint station groundbreaking

The goal is to reduce response times in emergencies after it was discovered Austin did not have enough fire stations to accommodate the expanding areas of the city.

Response times too long

The goal for the city’s fire department is to respond to an emergency under eight minutes at least 90% of the time.

In 2018, the Austin fire department released a study detailing multiple areas the city was failing to respond under eight minutes. These areas had experienced significant development and increased population while the city had only built one new station between 2010 and 2018.

The five areas identified to have an immediate need for a fire station were:

  • Travis Country in south Austin
  • Del Valle
  • Loop 360 and Davenport in northwest Austin
  • Goodnight Ranch in southeast Austin
  • Canyon Creek

City council voted in 2018 to build five new stations in six years. Two of the stations, Travis Country and Del Valle, have already been built. The station at Loop 360 and Davenport is under construction and is scheduled to be finished this spring. Canyon Creek is in the design phase, according to a Austin fire spokesperson.

A need for basic infrastructure

Council member Vanessa Fuentes, District 2, represents the community where this new station will be built off of Slaughter lane.

She said the community members there have been waiting for this day to come.

“We have been long-time advocating for basic infrastructure. So as we grow and continue to grow out as a city, we have to make sure that we have all the infrastructure that make a community a community,” Fuentes said.

The new station will also drive down the price of homeowners insurance for the people in this area who before were outside five miles of the nearest fire station. Any building outside five miles of a fire station is given the worst rating for fire suppression, according to the Texas Department of Insurance.

Who will staff the station?

It is unclear right now who will staff the joint fire-EMS station when it opens.

A fire spokesperson said decisions on staffing will be made closer to the grand opening of the station because those positions will have budget considerations that need to be approved by city council.