County shifts fire coverage

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There has been a small shift in fire coverage involving Fayette County and Fayetteville. The county has re-opened Station No. 4 across from the Fayette County Sheriff’s Office and has transferred the county ambulance to that station from its former location at the city fire department a few blocks to the west. As for future plans, the county said June 9 an operational plan is being finalized.

June 9 emails from Fayette County Fire Chief David Scarbrough and County Administrator Steve Rapson to city officials and Fayetteville Fire Chief Alan Jones said the county June 9 was re-opening Fire Station No. 4 and would be moving Engine 4 to the station along with the ambulance located at the city’s Station No. 91 on Johnson Avenue and Ga. Highway 85.

Station No. 4 is located a few blocks to the east across from the Fayette County Sheriff’s Office.

Scarbrough said the re-opened station will provide a change in coverage to unincorporated areas east of the city.

“Placing Engine 4 into service will change our response matrix to (unincorporated areas east of the city). We will be covering (those) zones with Engine 4 as first due primary response in place of (Fayetteville’s) Engine 91. Engine 91 will remain a part of the response matrix, just dropping in the response order. This will set up Engine 4 to cover the eastern side of the county. No other changes,” Scarbrough said in the email.

Jones said the re-opening of the station and the transfer of the ambulance housed at the city station occurred within hours of the notice.

Jones said while opening Station No. 4 will give the county better response time for the unincorporated areas east of the city, those areas had been covered by the city for the past 12 years under an automatic aid agreement.

With Station No. 4 open, the city fire department will continue to back-up the fire station for calls to the unincorporated areas, Jones said.

As for the future, Rapson in the June 9 email said, “(Scarbrough) is finalizing his operational plan recommendation for next year and we are planning on reviewing that with our board of commissioners. Once that is done we’ll provide you notice of the plan and any changes to automatic aid relating to fire response that may need to be discussed.” 

Recent talks of consolidating the city’s fire department with the county met with a large outcry by city residents. The consolidation move was defeated on a 3-2 Fayetteville City Council vote.