Fire Station 6 in North Memphis won't be shut down after all. Mayor A C Wharton's office, the Memphis Fire Department, and Memphis City Councilman Lee Harris reached an agreement today that will allow the North Memphis station on Thomas Street to remain open to provide emergency services and medical care throughout fiscal year 2014. The fire personnel and equipment will be moved from the station as previously planned. The station was slated for closure last month due to city budget constraints.
“There are a large number of elderly residents in that area and the majority of calls to that station are medical calls,” said fire department director Alvin Benson. “Our intent is to continue providing emergency service and medical care from this station, and to have this station continue its role as a community resource, anchor, and safe place in the event of emergencies."”
After hearing concerns over the planned closure from residents in that area, Memphis City Councilmen Lee Harris and Joe Brown set out to save the station. They had planned to introduce a resolution to pull $1.1 million from the city's reserve funds to keep the station open for at least a year.
But Harris told the Flyer this afternoon that the agreement that was reached does not involve taking money from the city's reserves. Instead, Memphis Fire Department Director Alvin Benson will re-work the fire department's budget in a way that preserves the station.
Had Fire Station 6 closed, it would have been the first fire station closed in years.
"This would be the first fire station closed for as long as anybody can remember," Harris told the Flyer a couple weeks ago. "We have to take that seriously. We can't just throw a brick and close the first fire station in years."