Meridian growth calls for more firefighters and stations
MERIDIAN, Idaho (CBS2) —
Meridian continues to grow by leaps and bounds. All the people moving into the city means more calls for Meridian firefighters.
"The important thing to us is to make sure the response times are quick to peoples' emergencies when they call," says Deputy Chief Charlie Butterfield with the Meridian Police Department.
The surge of growth in Meridian is impacting not only schools and homes. But the resources to keep the community safe.
"We are seeing an increase in calls year after year with the increase growth but we're also staying on top of that as well," Butterfield said.
75 firefighters with the Meridian Fire Department, suit up to fight fire on the line. Due to growth, 12 of those firefighters were hired in the last year to keep up with demand. Including breaking ground on a new fire station.
"We are always looking towards the future we work collaboratively with the community development department of the city of meridian to get an idea of where the future growth is happening and where they are going to see the growth over the next five years, the next 10 years," Butterfield said.
Deputy Chief Butterfield says they are seeing an abundance of growth in the southern and northwest parts of the city and the department is growing with the growth. That's understanding where the new subdivisions are being built. when, and how many.
"We are already anticipating with that growth expanding, adding more fire stations in the future to keep up with that demand and to be able to have those fire stations located within areas where we see the growth so that we can provide services in a timely manner," Butterfield said.
In keeping up with the growth, by June, seven more firefighters will be out of the fire academy and on the meridian fire department's staff.
"So, we are staying ahead of it and constantly planning as the growth comes and staying in front of that growth and making sure we are ready to respond to all the emergencies that we need to respond to within the city," Butterfield said.
With the 12 new firefighters, the new fire station will have its’ ground breaking next month, on Overland Rd. and Linder.