As published in Ultimate Fort Bend on July 28, 2011, Scott Gorden writes:
The Pecan Grove Volunteer Fire Department broke ground last week on a second fire station that will help firefighters and EMS reach the Pecan Grove subdivision’s northern end and Waterside Estates more quickly.
The station, at 3700 Farmer Rd., will measure about 1,500 square feet, have three bays for fire trucks, and house a total of six firefighters and EMS workers, at a construction budget of about $250,000.
“[Our first] station is on the far south end of our service area [at 727 Pitts Road], and 29 years ago, we only went three-fourths of a mile north,” says Chief Paul LeDoux, who also serves part-time as a captain with the Houston Fire Department. “Unfortunately, Pecan Grove kept growing to the north.”
The department now covers 6.5 miles and about 19,000 people in an unincorporated area of Fort Bend County between Richmond and Sugar Land. A home’s proximity to a fire station affects insurance rates, not to mention how quickly firefighters can get there in an emergency.
“The goal for this year was to bring 90 percent of our territory into a less-than-three-minute response time,” LeDoux says.
LeDoux says the department would like to have the station up and running by November, “if it could just stay dry for another three months.”
The department has also ordered a new pumper truck to be housed in the new station, and wants to add at least 10 volunteers to its current roster of 23 volunteers and 18 paid staff.
“We’re going to run a campaign up in Waterside Estates to try to attract some more volunteers out of that area,” LeDoux says.
A groundbreaking ceremony on Thursday, July 21 included LeDoux, several of the department’s other staff and board members, and Fort Bend County Commissioner Andy Meyers.