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Covering Dallas, Monmouth, Independence, Falls City and surrounding areas since 1868

Buena Vista fire station may close

Polk No. 1 considering options

January 07, 2014

BUENA VISTA — The Polk County Fire District No. 1 board of directors will decide what to do with the Buena Vista fire station at its 7 p.m. meeting on Jan. 16.

The three things that will help decide the fate of the station are the service levels, available fire engines and community involvement, said Division Chief Neal Olson.

Two volunteers work out of Station 40, Olson said. One is a resident of Buena Vista, the other is not.

The volunteer who lives in Buena Vista does not work in the area. The other volunteer does work in the area, but employers are not as likely to allow an employee to leave work to respond to fire calls, Olson said.

Neal Olson

Neal Olson

"So their daytime response is, they don't have a daytime response," he said.

The station is not equipped with a fire engine, but rather a grass truck.

"It's a small pickup that we generally use to fight grass fires in the summertime," Olson said. "It has very limited equipment on it. There's not enough water or hose to fight a house fire."

Volunteers at Station 40 are trained in first aid and CPR, and are not able to provide the same medical care as a paramedic or EMT (emergency medical technician), he said.

"We also provide public service," Olson said of the volunteers in Buena Vista. They respond to burning complaints, traffic accidents, help people in need, and even help with broken water pipes.

"They don't qualify as a real emergency," he added.

All emergency medical responses and fire engines to battle house fires in the area come out of the Central Station in Independence, Olson said.

It takes a total of 10 to 12 minutes to respond to Buena Vista from the Central Station, he said.

The board also will look at a few options for Station 40, including recruiting more volunteers, reducing station hours, temporarily closing the station, or permanently closing it.

Polk No. 1’s Jan. 16 board meeting takes place at Central Fire Station 90, 1800 Monmouth St., Indepen-dence.

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