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TVF and R buys site for new Tigard fire station

The future station is expected to cut response times to people in northeast Tigard

TIGARD - Tualatin Valley Fire and Rescue has purchased a 3.3-acre site at 12585 S.W. Walnut St. in Tigard for a future fire station.

The area has long been a concern for the fire district, because of its increasing response times due to high call volume, the number of homes being built and increased traffic.

'Our goal is to arrive at your doorstep within six minutes of your call to 9-1-1 because after that there is a significant drop in our ability to make a meaningful intervention,' said Assistant Fire Chief Paul LeSage.

'It currently takes crews from surrounding stations that serve the area more than eight minutes to arrive in some neighborhoods due to travel time.'

The Walnut Street site was identified using sophisticated computerized incident and response time data to plot accurate to within a quarter mile the most optimum location for a fire station.

Once operational, the Walnut Street station would serve north and northwest Tigard (Summer Lake), north and northeast Bull Mountain, and portions of southern Beaverton (Progress Ridge and Barrows Road).

The station will provide advanced life support (paramedic) emergency medical, fire and rescue response.

The Walnut Street site was purchased for $1.2 million. The district's plan is to utilize approximately half of the land to build a three-bay 9,600-square-foot fire station that includes a community room for neighborhood meetings.

TVF and R will also work cooperatively with the city of Tigard to use the remaining land to provide better access and parking for Jack Park, which is located directly behind the property.

Construction costs are estimated to be $2.25-million.

Land and construction costs for the station are included in TVF and R's Bond Measure 34-133, which will be on the November ballot.

TVF and R will begin the design process for the fire station later this year and will work with the city of Tigard's neighborhood meeting process to ensure community input. The district hopes to begin construction in August 2007.

In the last decade, TVF and R's call volume has increased 60 percent throughout its service area. During this time, the district has not added any stations.

Instead, TVF and R has attempted less costly methods to ensure a quick and expedient response to incidents, including adding second units to surrounding fire stations in South Beaverton, Progress, and King City.