JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Jacksonville city leaders cut the ribbon Tuesday on a new fire station in Arlington, which is just the latest in a series of new Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department facilities.
The aim is to reduce response times for key areas of Jacksonville and lower property insurance costs.
Station 65 is at 7698 Bailey Body Road, just off Atlantic Boulevard between Southside Estates and Oak Haven in Arlington.
“This community desperately needed a fire station in here because it’s so busy,” JFRD Chief Keith Powers said. “It’s going to reduce response times by about a minute and 15 seconds into this area, which in our business -- seconds equal lives. So it’s extremely important to the citizens that live around this area to get this station in service.”
Until now, the fire crews covering this part of the city were squeezed into Fire Station 19 on Rogero Road.
“It’s an older station so it was pretty small. They added a little building to the side, but we made it work. We were happy over there,” JFRD Capt. Kevin Hodges said. “But just a little bit happier that finally the new station’s open.”
Station 65 is the ninth station to open in the city in the last two years.
The next one, Station 76, is set to open by the end of the summer at Boney and Cedar Point roads at the east end of the Pumpkin Hill area.
Tuesday’s ceremony also dedicated the new station to the memory of long-time JFRD veteran Wayne Doolittle, who retired in the mid-90s after 32 years serving the department.