“This fills a huge service gap, our largest for the city by relocating that station out at the airport more up to that Harrison (and) 11th St. area,” said Rockford Fire Chief Derek Bergsten, about the possibility of moving fire station number seven.
The relocation would mean the departments current repair shop on Sawyer Rd. would be replaced by station seven. The move would cost the city just over 1.2 million dollars, something Bergsten thinks is well worth the expense.
“Better response times, better coverage, and what that translates into is better protection for the whole city because now it keeps companies in there own still companies, instead of running into that area that has the high call volume,” he added.
Alderman John Beck of the finance committee also believes the move will improve the safety of residents
“It certainly is going to get us better coverage, given the growth that we’ve had on the northeast side of town,” said Beck. “It will allow us to move our resources and provide better coverage for all our people,” he added.
Chief Bergsten says council has been supportive of the move. “They understand that we have not had any new facilities, any capital investment in over 25 years to the fire department,” Bergsten said.
“We want to make sure we keep them updated, make sure we keep things repaired in a nice clean order that everything functions properly,” he added.
The finance committee did approve a bid from Schmeling Construction for the station renovation. Further discussion will happen on the council floor.