CHARLOTTE—Faster response times and more overlap is something residents in east Charlotte are happy about, as the new "in fill" Charlotte Fire Department Station No. 42 hosted a grand opening Saturday.
East Charlotte resident Fred Ford and his wife got an up-close look at the new station Saturday. Ford said he is happy about the newest addition to this part of town.
"So many things are leaving East Charlotte, so it's always good to see something positive come to East Charlotte,” said Ford.
Within the first 30 minutes of the grand opening, the station responded to two calls. Chief Jon Hannan said the area had been a trouble spot for responses.
"There are a lot of busy parts of town, but this one is and it just happened to be a point that was distant from all the closest stations with a lot of population, we needed a house here,” said Hannan.
Three stations surround Station No. 42, which was placed in the middle, on Central Avenue. Station 15 at Shamrock and Eastway, was running 4,700 calls a year, and missing 1,200 while they were out. Station No. 23 in the Hickory Grove area was running about 7,500 calls a year between two companies.
"It's not so much the response times were getting bad. It was the call volume was getting so high there was a need for another company, and they tried to put that right in the center of that. That's why they picked this area and we can go any way we need to go,” said firefighter with Station No. 42 Jonathan Kiser.
The new fire station will be beneficial for both responders and residents.
"Quicker responses into all the neighborhoods, catch fires when they're smaller, when someone has a heart attack be there to make a difference, that's what it's all about,” said Hannan.
The battalion headquarters for the east part of Charlotte was also moved to the fire station. The fire department reports that about 500 people attended the grand opening event on Saturday.