If the Mount Prospect Fire Department moves its downtown Station 13 north to the MB Financial Bank property at 111 E. Rand Road as planned, response times overall will improve, Fire Chief Brian Lambel told the village board this week.
"There are places right now that Station 13 takes six, seven, sometimes eight minutes to get to," Lambel said, adding that the department's goal is a four-minute response. "That's just to get to the location. Some of these people live in high-rises."
The proposed move to Rand Road, he said, would close gaps in service areas between Station 13 and Station 14.
However, Trustee Paul Hoefert noted the move would mean longer response times to properties in the village's downtown.
"People who live south of the tracks and east of Emerson, or even east of (Route) 83, today have a shorter response time in their neighborhood," he said.
"Some people's response times will extend," Lambel responded. "But more people's response times dramatically will decrease. People in the downtown area will still be within the four-minute (response time)."
Other village trustees said the trade-off justified the proposed fire station move.
"More people will be affected in a positive way -- a lot more people -- by moving the station to Rand Road than leaving it where it's at right now," Trustee William Grossi said.
Village officials last month disclosed plans to move from the downtown fire station, part of a larger project that also will see the police department leave the shared downtown facility for a new station in the Kensington Business Center. The fire station move is expected to cost about $7 million, village officials said.
Besides lowering response times for many residents, the planned move also opens the possibility of commercial development at the site of the current fire and police headquarters, located in the downtown tax increment financing district.