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Willard opens new fully-staffed fire station, aims to improve response times

Published: May. 27, 2021 at 2:21 PM CDT|Updated: May. 27, 2021 at 4:18 PM CDT
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WILLARD, Mo. (KY3) - A new fully-staffed fire station opened Thursday in Willard.

The Willard Fire Protection District just finished work on the new Fire Station 2 and moved in several trucks and other equipment Thursday. It’s the same location as the district’s old Station 2, next to the Schuyler Community Center. But the new site offers plenty of upgrades.

Willard’s fire chief says the old station, which was a volunteer-only station, was not big enough for modern-day fire equipment, and it didn’t have firefighter-living quarters. So they took down that building and moved it to their headquarters to serve as an equipment building.

The new station, will be staffed with at least two firefighters 24 hours a day. Leaders hope to see big improvements in the average response time in the eastern part of the Willard Fire Protection District.

Firefighters were averaging around 11-12 minute response times, and they hope to cut that down to 4-5 minutes through the new station.

“It’s tourism, it’s heavy freight, it’s Conco Quarries with quarry trucks, it’s school bus traffic. You’ve got it all, and so this station being centrally located where it’s at,” said Willard Fire Protection District Chief Ken Scott. “It should be a tremendous asset to the community.”

With a lot of growth north of Springfield, crews in Willard get a lot of fire and medical calls in the area. Plus, they respond to wrecks on Highway 13, and they’re less than a mile from the big tourist attraction, Fantastic Caverns.

Scott says the district moved the old station and built the new one all for $170,000, all without asking taxpayers for any additional funding.

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