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Mt. Juliet residents worry new fire station plans will increase emergency response time

Del Webb at Lake Providence
Posted at 5:18 PM, Jul 08, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-08 22:05:02-04

MT. JULIET, Tenn. (WTVF) — Some residents in the Del Webb community of Mt. Juliet don’t want an ambulance to move to a different fire station due to response time concerns.

In Wilson County, commissioners approved two new fire stations to be built according to County Mayor Randall Hutto. The population in the area continues to explode. "They’re going to allow us to have another fire truck and six more personnel," Hutto said.

Currently, the county pays the City of Mt. Juliet to house some ambulances at their fire stations. With extra space at the new fire stations on Central Pike and Clemmons Road, the county will no longer need to keep ambulances at the fire houses in Mt. Juliet.

Resident Byron Kamp does not want the ambulance at the Belinda Parkway station near his home to move out. "Because in getting the information from city officials, it indicated that the response time was going to increase, it’s 1.7 miles and gets here in 5 minutes," Kamp said. "The new location on Central Pike it’s more like 4 miles and will take 10 to 12 minute to get here."

Del Webb at Lake Providence is a 55 and up community. Kamp said during an emergency, a quick response time can save lives. "They’ll say every minute counts, especially if it’s a heart attack, or if it’s a stroke," Kamp said.

He believes the better solution is purchasing new ambulances for the new fire stations. "We pay county taxes, our taxes go to the service of expecting to have ambulance service," Kamp said.

County Mayor Hutto said response times to the Del Webb neighborhood will only increase by roughly 90 seconds, and the new fire station will be better for citizens. “When you look at the hot spots, and you’re going to be closer to them," Hutto said.

Kamp disagreed.

"I know the mayor is very concerned the City of Mt. Juliet is charging them rent, and I’ve talked to several local officials, and I believe that if we get the ambulances to stay where they are, the city will stop charging rent to the county," Kamp said.

He said they will keep fighting for the ambulance to stay as close to home as possible.