Atlantans More At Risk with Closure of 3 Fire and Rescue Stations

Atlanta Fire and Rescue Chief Roderick Smith on Monday, Oct. 23 announced the closing of three Atlanta Fire and Rescue stations due to staffing shortages and a delipidated fleet of fire and rescue or EMS transportation vehicles with potentially life-saving but with dated and non-operational equipment.

The three stations include Station 22 on Hollywood Road, Station 23 on Howell Mill Road and Station 30 on Cleveland Avenue, all in the city’s high risk areas for 

Councilman Dustin Hillis, who is the the Chair of the Public Safety Committee, acknowledged this problem didn’t just pop up overnight but it’s something the city and AFR have been dealing with for over a decade. 

Smith told the committee as of Monday they have 17 trucks out of service. He confirmed eight of their 31 engines are not running, which is about 25 percent, and nine of their 15 ladder trucks are out of service, about 60 percent. 

“Right now I think we’re down to two or three fully operational ladder trucks in the whole city,” Hillis said.

Smith explained the department is using a modified response where firefighters are sending the closest three engines and the closest three aerials to the call from varying fire stations in the city. 

 

Councilman Antonio Lewis explained to the chief he took issue with the AFR closing Station 30 on Cleveland Avenue. 

“We need (station) 30 to open and I’ll tell you why, the lights, it lights up the whole coroner. The elements that’s going on across the street from where (station) 30 is now we’ve never had before until (station) 30 closed,” Lewis said.

When asked to clarify what he meant, Lewis said via email that it was a public safety concern.

“The lights being off almost make it look like a third world country at night. I’ve had issues that I’ve never had and I need the station open for more than one reason,” Lewis explained via email.

Hillis said he’s very concerned with the current situation at AFR when it comes to their response and fleet. 

 
 

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