Hays considers building another fire station

HAYS, Kan. (KSNW) — The City of Hays recently purchased four-acres of land, just south of 41st Street, near Post Rock Road. Officials said the main reason is to protect the water production well, but now, the land could be the home of a new fire station.

Right now, the city has only one fire station on Main Street, and an airport fire station which isn’t fully staffed.

The city manager said Hays is continuing to grow, and its fire services need to grow with it.

“Our centrally located station is going to be a hindrance in the future because of the lack of the ability to reach out to the nether regions,” said Toby Dougherty.

Fire chief Gary Brown agreed with Dougherty, saying the department’s response time is nine minutes, and it could get harder for crews to meet that when the city is growing away from the station.

The chief said he also looks forward to having more space with a new station.

“The fire department has accumulated more equipment and apparatus over the years, and has added to this facility, but this facility is cramped,” said Brown. “When a fire station’s too cramped, there are inefficiencies and there are safety concerns.”

Residents near the potential fire station tell KSN they have concerns about the noise it might bring. However, residents just a block away don’t seem to mind.

“I mean, it’d be worth putting up with for the safety of the others, I believe,” said one resident.

According to city officials, they don’t have the funds to build a new station, just yet but they are beginning to look at cost estimates, as well as staffing and equipment needs.