Crossville Chronicle, Crossville, TN

Area News

February 26, 2010

City plans for future growth, fire protection

Fifteen years ago it was much easier to properly locate fire stations; you simply drew a three mile circle and used that overlay on a city map.

That is not the case anymore.

During a public meeting at Crossville's Palace Theatre, city officials and a state fire consultant explained how locating a fire hall is currently accomplished using road maps, geographic information services and property value data from the tax assessor's office and city road maps. Those factors take into account the risk to property for insurance companies and how well the city is protected by quick responding fire units.

Crossville Mayor J. H. Graham III opened the meeting discussing how the city of Crossville had grown 60 percent over the last two decades. “Crossville could grow another 60 percent in the next 20 years,” added Graham. “I wouldn't be surprised to see a total community population of 100,000 by the end of that time.”

Graham also pointed out that some 73 million baby boomers will retire in the next few years, “and we will get our share.” Graham said “The community is promoting it and we must pay attention to all the needs, not the least of which is fire protection.”

Crossville Fire Chief Mike Turner told the audience that when he started as fire chief the city's ISO (Insurance Service Office) rating was a “7 headed toward an 8.” In 1993 the fire department include only one station and no aerial truck. Currently the department has two stations, 27 full time personnel, four pumper trucks and one ladder aerial truck. Crossville has had an ISO rating of 4 for the last 15 years.

In addition to fire fighting the department operates a first responder program for medical emergencies as well as vehicle extrication, high angle rescue, HAZMAT and diving teams. Education is another important program by the department.

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