Jackson Firefighters Adjust One Month After Closing

By: Meaghan M. Norman Email
By: Meaghan M. Norman Email
Jackson Fire Department dealing with minor delays after consolidation.

Firefighters battle a blaze at a vacant retirement center in Bellmead

For the one fire station that's left in Jackson, Interim Chief David Wooden is hesitant to say things are great, for now, he says they are managing.

It's really too early to tell what the total impact has been," said Wooden.

Response time now averages about five to six minutes per call, but when a fire rapidly accelerates every 30 seconds, each second could mean the difference between life or death.

"We're watching our response times and proactively keeping an eye on how much we end up using our neighboring departments to help us out," said Wooden.

They've already had to rely on other stations like Summit and Blackman Townships but he says the aid goes both ways.

"There have been times that we've been unavailable to cover everything that came in so they've helped us out and we've helped them out with accidents and so on."

The city is now divided, with more territory and fewer companies and the crew has had to train on all the consolidated equipment.

"The city used to be cut into three different sections now it's cut into two. We're cut right down Michigan Ave and the engine company takes the south side of town and the ladder company takes the north side of town."

And that means inevitably some areas have a longer wait.

"There are going to be certain sections of the community, the outreach areas that are going to be impacted but I don't think it's going to be a significant change."

Tuesday at the Capitol, firefighters and other labor unions will be rallying against the emergency financial manager bill. The manager could, in essence dissolve the collective bargaining agreements if it's in the best financial interest of the city. The Senate is expected to vote.

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