Friday, 21/7/2017 | : : UTC-5
Harker Heights Evening Star
Harker Heights Evening Star

Heights Fire Department Continues its Renovation

Heights Fire Department Continues its Renovation

Sara Escobar

Evening Star

Last month, the construction and remodeling of the Harker Heights Fire Department began. City Council and staff have been anticipating the renovation since December of last year, when it was decided that money would be put aside for the next budget cycle to expand and modernize the fire station.

The building has had only one facility added to its property since its construction in 1985. At the City Council meeting in December, City Manager David Mitchell said, “The council decided it was time for an upgrade in informational technology, administration space and modernization of living quarters and the functions of the facility to meet the needs of staff who are there.” Architectural Edge of Temple has been hired for the design work. “We are taking the existing structure and more or less gutting the part that is living quarters and the administrative area now. Our plans are not just to provide the bare minimum when it comes to additional space but to prepare for the future as the department grows.” Mitchell added.

“So far the construction has been steady and consistent,” said Administrative Assistant Andrew Latimer. “We’re adding more square footage, and ensuring the building is up to date with appropriate fire codes and business regulations.” Despite the majority of the property being gutted as the construction continues, Latimer says regular operations have not been affected. “We’re operating at our optimal capacity. The only difference right now is that our firefighters have a mobile unit to stay in, since their current living quarters are inhabitable.” It is currently unknown if any of the construction will include amenities for training purposes. Latimer says they expect the developments to be completed around February 2018. “That’s our primary goal, but with any major construction project it could end sooner or later that our projected goal.”

The City of Harker Heights is divided into two districts in order for the HHFD to cover the response area efficiently. Central Station, located at 401 Indian Trail, covers the northern district of the City and Station 2, located at 3207 Stillhouse Lake Road, covers the southern district of the City.
HHFD also responds to areas of Bell County that are outside of the City of Harker Heights.
The average response time for emergency calls within the main portion of the city is 4 minutes.
Remote areas in the eastern portion of the city, have a response time that is closer to 10 minutes. This is because of the difficulty in getting to these rural hilly areas and vehicle limitations.Additionally, there are mutual aid agreements with many  of our neighboring cities. The station is able to request or provide assistance to Killeen, Fort Hood, Copperas Cove, Nolanville, Belton and Temple.
Although the fire station was built in 1985, it wasn’t until 2007 that the department transitioned to all personnel being paid with full time benefits. For more information about the HHFD, call 254 699 2688 or visit www.ci.harker-heights.tx.us.

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