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IFD chief meets with neighborhood groups about redeployment plan

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Indianapolis, Ind. (March 10, 2016) – Indianapolis Fire Department Chief Ernest Malone says he has a big restructuring plan, but stresses fire coverage and response times would not be affected.

Chief Malone spent the last six months reviewing how the department’s resources are spread out and what could work better.

He says changes such as closing some stations and consolidating could potentially save IFD $2.1 million by the middle of 2017.

Chief Malone is expected to be at the Meridian Kessler Neighborhood Association meeting Thursday night at 6:30 p.m. He will also attend the Butler Tarkington Neighborhood Association meeting on March 14. He says he’s committed to making every effort to speak directly with residents, neighborhood groups and firefighters.

The plan covers the entire 278 square mile service district.

The recommended changes are still being presented by Chief Malone to community partners including Indianapolis City Administration, IFD Firefighters, City County Councilors, Neighborhood  Associations and other interested parties in order to hear from stakeholders ahead of any final decisions.

According to a release from IFD, the proposed plan includes the consolidation of the IFD Administrative staff into one building. Administration staff currently occupies six different addresses.

The plan also includes the consolidation of Stations 16 & 32, the consolidation of Stations 52 & 54 and the repurposing of station 54 into the IFD Fitness Center. He says this would enable IFD to perform year round fitness testing and hiring assessments.

A new station would be built in the Franklin Township area. The cost for the new station is estimated at $3.2 – $3.5 million. With the expected annual savings of $1.5 million from the closure of Station 52, Chief Malone says the new station will pay for itself in 2.5 years.

The release also says, “Consolidation of Stations 32 and 16 would include the replacement of Squad 32 with Engine 32 in Broad Ripple and the closure of Station 16 at 5555 N Illinois St. The Broad Ripple area is the second most visited destination in Indianapolis and their community development plan includes an increased number of buildings which means an increased number of hazards for the fire department. The area currently served by Station 16 will see no diminished  coverage based on the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA 1710) standards of first arriving fire apparatus arrival within 4 minutes 90% of the time.  Overlapping coverage into the Butler Tarkington area currently exists and is already serviced by Stations 31 & 12. The number of firefighters occupying the station will increase from 6 to 15 across 3 shifts.  The Engine set to occupy the space will be a low profile model which allows the 21st century apparatus to fit inside the structure built in 1922.”