Loves Park Fire Department unveils new fire station

Published: Sep. 27, 2022 at 7:58 PM CDT
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LOVES PARK, Ill. (WIFR) - Loves Park fire officials show off what they call much-needed upgrades Tuesday morning at an open house for their new station. Officials say the new building and equipment will save lives.

“That old building was just totally outdated,” says Loves Park Fire Chief Jerry Wiltfang. “So now we’re in the middle of where most of our calls were. It’s the busiest census track, but we’re also a lot closer to the stuff that’s east of I-90.”

Loves Park’s old station on Grand Avenue is on the city’s far west side. The Chief says getting to east side calls sometimes took up to 30 minutes.

“Typically a fire grows 100 times a minute. That’s a pretty significant growth rate,” explains Wiltfang. “From the EMS side, the sooner we start drugs, the sooner we can shock a patient if that’s what’s required, their chances of survival go up significantly. That response time is everything.”

Now with the station on Rock Valley Parkway, Wiltfang says those 30-minute calls have been reduced to around nine minutes. The building also makes way for more modern equipment.

“With the old station on Grand Ave, the doors were only ten foot. The new apparatus are 12 feet, so you couldn’t get modern rigs in the building.”

Loves Park Battalion Chief Greg Kunce agrees. “Having the equipment here on site makes it easier for us. I mean we’ve had storage in several different locations in the past.”

Now with the new centralized station, officials say the future of the department is bright. Community members could take a look at the new station Tuesday morning from 9 a.m. until noon. The Grand Avenue station was built in 1947 and served Loves Park for 75 years.