116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
CEDAR RAPIDS — A North Carolina consulting firm will be reviewing the location of the city’s nine fire stations and what the future might require in terms of fire protection.
The Cedar Rapids City Council on Monday approved a $57,500 contract with Charlotte-based Raftelis, which advises local government and utility leaders.
The study, which will take about six months, “is going to take a look at the current run volume, current population, and then explore what that looks like in five, 10, 20 years, to see what type of plan we would need to make sure we continue to ensure that we have adequate coverage in the stations,” Fire Chief Greg Smith said.
“Then, on top of that, it’s going to be, do the stations we have meet the current needs of the department and the citizenry?”
In addition, the study will look at the overall organization of the fire department and at firefighter health and safety, all aimed at optimizing response times to fires and other emergencies.
The last time the Cedar Rapids Fire Department relocated a fire station was in 2013, when the new Central Fire Station opened after the old one was destroyed in the 2008 flood.
The city also moved Station 3 at that time from the Coe College area to the northwest quadrant, just off Edgewood Road NW.
Smith said that move put an additional 12.5 percent of the city’s population within 1.5 miles of a fire station.
“Living within a mile to a mile-and-a-half of an existing fire station is ideal from a response time perspective,” Smith said.
“There are travel times and road design and a bunch of other factors that come into it, but if you just take a quick and dirty look, that’s one thing you look at to initially place fire stations,” Smith said.
The fire department has been looking at performing a study like this for a few years, Smith said.
The city had planned to complete it in 2020 but delayed it because of the pandemic.
“As the world is returning to normal and because of the fact that we’re seeing moderate growth within the city, we needed to get back to it,” Smith said.
The city solicited proposals for the study from multiple consultants before selecting Raftelis.
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Here is a list of the nine Cedar Rapids fire stations, where they are located and the year they opened:
Station 1, Central Fire Station, 731 First Ave. SE; 2013
Station 2: 442 50th Ave. Court SW; 1987
Station 3: 3520 Crestwood Dr. NW; 2013
Station 4: 3600 42nd St. NE; 1986
Station 5: 509 Wilson Ave. SW; 1957
Station 6: 2416 Mount Vernon Rd. SE; 1957
Station 7: 206 24th St. NE; 1999
Station 8: 100 WIley Blvd. SW; 1986
Station 9: 415 Broderick Dr. NE; 1986