“Do you know how many shovels I have?” Mayor Hancock joked after the June 6 ceremony breaking ground on a new fire station in Stapleton. For Mayor Hancock and the rest of the officials in attendance, Fire Station #39 is just the latest construction project in the rapidly expanding northeast corridor of Denver.
However, with every ceremonial shovelful of soil and the construction that follows, the growing community puts ever greater strain on the area’s municipal resources—something Station #39 was designed to address.
A key metric used to measure fire department capability is response time: How long does it take for a truck to arrive at the scene of an emergency after receiving a call?
The city largely bases its standard on that of the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), a nonprofit organization that produces codes and guidelines for fire services. The NFPA standard for response time is measured as the ability for a fire department to arrive within four minutes of receiving a call over 90% of the time. Captain Greg Pixley, Denver Fire Department Public Information officer, said Denver Fire Department is only at about 70% in the northeast-most section of the city.
Part of the solution is building a new fire station in Stapleton, on the corner of Central Park Blvd. and E. 50th Ave. The station is planned to open with a complement of 15 firefighters and a single fire engine sometime next summer.
The station will have room for additional apparatus, either a second engine or a ladder truck, depending on future needs. As well, there are facilities to house a fire chief in the station to augment command-and-control in the area. These two elements are part of the flexible design chosen to operate in the growing community around Stapleton.
While Station #39 only just broke ground, Pixley said in an email that other tentative expansions are being considered for northeast Denver. Redevelopment of Truck #35 at the Denver International Airport in early 2020 and another new station planned for 2021 at a location near 72nd and Tower Rd. could add positions for another 30 additional firefighters in the region in the next few years.