[mappress mapid="2"] Pictured above is a map of the current locations of the Duluth Fire Department's Station 4 and Station 11. The new proposed station would be built somewhere in the middle of the two current stations, along Woodland Avenue by the end of 2014.
By the end of 2014, the area around Woodland Avenue and UMD could see a new Duluth Fire Department (DFD) fire station built to suit both of the areas. This one of the changes recommended from an independent study done by TriData in March of 2012 and deemed necessary due to an increase in call volume, according to John Strongitharm, Duluth's fire chief.
TriData, a division of System Planning Corporation, came to do an independent study of the Duluth Fire Department and the way the department operates. This is a part of a new trend throughout the country that seeks to make the departments more fiscally sound. TriData has done over 200 studies in cities similar to Duluth, including St. Paul; Portland, Oregon; and Boulder, Colorado.
On Sept. 26, 2011, the Duluth City Council and the Duluth Fire Department voted unanimously to pay TriData $78,610 to come to Duluth and perform this particular study over the next six months. The results and suggested changes were proposed in March 2012, and the new proposed fire station is one of many changes coming in the next few years as a result of the study.
“This did prompt us to look at Station 4 and Station 11," Strongitharm said. "The vast majority of calls that Station 11 goes to is at UMD. If we get the station built out on Woodland Avenue, that would make a huge difference for response times, especially in the Woodland area. That may be something done in 2013 or 2014.”
Duluth's First Station 11 is located on Woodland Avenue and East Wabasha Street, and the station would merge with Duluth's Fire Station 4, located on West College Street and Junction Avenue. The new station is schedule to remain along Woodland Avenue, but it would be closer to the UMD campus.
Duluth's Fire Station 4 received a new ladder truck at the beginning of the year as a part of the first step in the process of joining the two stations over the course of the next few years.