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Firefighter's union works with city leaders to improve response time in New Tampa

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Posted at 9:15 AM, Sep 23, 2022

NEW TAMPA, Fla. — Emergency response times have been an ongoing issue in New Tampa. With a population surge in New Tampa, the fire department is getting more calls for help than ever before.

“Statistically, the fire department responds to more calls for service every year,” said President of Tampa Firefighters Local 754, Andrew Carter.

How long it takes Tampa Fire Rescue to respond is a major concern for people that live in New Tampa. According to a recent study done by the Tampa firefighters union, four out of the six fire stations in the City of Tampa with the longest response times are in New Tampa, and K-Bar Ranch is at the heart of this.

“There’s always a need for more fire stations to decrease call response time. Councilman Viera has discussed the K-Bar Ranch area. It's a one way in, one way out territory,” said Carter.

This increases the time firefighters can respond to a call. That is why City Councilman Luis Viera is pushing to get a medical-only unit stationed at K-Bar Ranch.

“Even though there's not a lot of calls, the response time can be lagging. If that was your mom or your dad or your husband, your wife, your son, your daughter, who has that challenge, you would want that out immediately,” said Viera.

Viera said the City of Tampa has $1 million budgeted for the fire department. He is working with the firefighter's union to make sure that goes towards robust improvements in the area.

“I’ve proposed what’s called a public safety master plan for all of the City of Tampa, where we take a look at all of our city. We see where our deficits are with regard to fire and police. We see how much money it would take to cure those deficits. Then we build a financial bridge to get to full public safety for our city,” Viera said.