City Looking for site on east side for 3rd fire hall

Dickson Fire Department Station 2 opened in 1991. Photo courtesy Keith Hickerson

The City of Dickson is planning to build a third fire station that will reduce response times on the east side of the city.

The Dickson Fire Department currently staffs and equips Station #1 at 101 Church St. in Downtown Dickson and added Station #2 on Pringle Dr. off Old Columbia Road  near Highway 46 for quicker response to the south end of the city and Interstate 40.

City officials are currently evaluating various locations on the east side of the city with a goal of constructing a third station during the 2020-2021 fiscal year.

“In saving lives and limiting property damage, a department’s response time makes a critical difference,” said Richard Greer, chief of the Dickson Fire Department since 2009. “The less distance firefighters have to travel in response to a fire or other emergency, the better the chances for a more positive outcome.”

In 2017, the fire department received a three-year grant to fund six new firefighter positions as it ramps up for staffing a third station. Those positions have been filled and the new employees have completed their basic firefighter training.

In addition to responding to structure and vehicle fires, personnel of the Dickson Fire Department are certified as Advanced Emergency Medical Technicians and respond to all medical calls in the city along with the Dickson County Emergency Medical Service.

In presenting the draft of the city’s 2019-’20 budget to the Dickson City Council, City Administrator Rydell Wesson said it includes a $2 million loan, of which $125,000 is designated for the acquisition of property and site preparation for Station #3.

Richard Greer, Chief of the Dickson Fire Department, said the new station could result in lower homeowner’s insurance rates for residences in service areas.

“The shorter response times can mean a lower Insurance Service Organization rating following our next audit after the new station is built. Insurance companies use ISO ratings as one of the factors in establishing policy premiums. Homeowners within five driving miles of a fire station get a lower ISO rating.”

The city continues its due diligence in evaluating potential properties for Station #3 and Weiss said he hopes to present a site selection to the council as soon as possible after the new budget takes effect July 1. A second and final vote on the 2019-’20 city budget is scheduled for a special session of the City Council following the regular Finance and Management Committee meeting at 6 pm Monday, June 17. The council unanimously approved the budget on first vote following a public hearing May 20.