NOTE: Funding for Fire Station No. 5 was restored after voters approved an income tax increase in a special election in May. The station reopened July 1 with a combination company - Engine 5/Medic 5.
Fire Station No. 5, which covered Springfield's west-side, closed Jan. 1, 2017 after the defeat of a ballot initiative to raise the city's income tax.
Firefighters assigned to the station were transferred to one of the city's six remaining stations.
Prior to the closure, Springfield operated four combination fire/medic companies, three fire companies and three medic units. The current minimum staffing for the Fire Rescue Division is 127.
Springfield shuttered Fire Station No. 2 on Wittenberg Avenue during the Great Depression in 1932.
Station No. 9 on Johnny Lytle Avenue closed in 1975.
Old Station No. 9 was converted into a police sub-station, which was also slated for closing in the budget cutting.
Fire Station 5 opened 1981, replacing a firehouse at 1125 West Main Street.
On Dec. 17, the News-Sun reported:
The fire division plans to decrease its overtime by about $60,000 next year, Springfield Fire/Rescue Division Chief Nick Heimlich said.
He plans to lower the number of firefighters working each shift from 28 to 25.
The calls made in the area of Fire Station No. 5 will covered by the closest available unit as it always has been, Heimlich said.
“It’s the way our system has always operated and will continue to operate that day,” Heimlich said. “It’s not something that we had to invent.”
Fire Station No. 5 on Commerce Road was chosen because it had the lowest call volume in the city, he said. However, it’s unclear how many calls that station took for other units throughout the city.
“That’s the one we’re going to be watching because that’s the one that’s harder to predict,” he said.
The fire division is expected to spend about $90,000 in overtime from the general fund next year, he said. It has been planning for this situation since this summer, Heimlich said.
“It’s a good thing we did so now we’re ready,” he said. “We have a purposeful structure built to address the responses we’re going to be needed to make.”