Manteca within two to three years could have a fifth fire station.
The City Council on Tuesday will be asked to OK spending $149,195 to have RPM Design Group provide 30 percent of the design work needed for a new station at Atherton Drive and Woodward Avenue in southeast Manteca.
It will serve 1,250 existing homes — most of which are outside of the department’s targeted five minute emergency response time — plus another 1,430 homes that are being fast-tracked by developers.
Arriving on scene within five minutes of a call being dispatched is essential for the best possible survival rate for heart and stroke victims as well as to attack fires before they flashover.
Citywide, Manteca fire engines are now arriving at emergency calls within five minutes 82 percent of the time. But when it comes to the 1,250 homes south of Woodward Avenue and east of Main Street, fire crews arrive on scene within five minutes less than 10 percent of the time.
Meanwhile six additional firefighters hired with a federal grant that Manteca is targeting to keep on after funding lapses assuming they have the money to do so are allowing the department to man a rescue squad 24/7.
That rescue squad is now at the Union Road station. It will also be placed at the Powers Avenue station. The switch off is to determine the best response time for most calls to southeast Manteca homes.
Fire Chief Kirk Waters said the plan is to shift six firefighter positions to the Atherton Drive/Woodward Avenue station when it is completed.
That will allow 24/7 staffing of a two-man rescue squad. It is an effective way to chip away at response times since roughly 90 percent of all calls handled by Manteca Fire in a typical year are medical emergencies.
It is the same strategy the city used to open the Lathrop Road station by Del Webb at Woodbridge. Last year the city was able to fund the nine firefighters needed o staff a three-man engine 24/7.
Waters noted with current staffing levels, the department could staff the station if it were open today 30 percent of the time with a three-man engine company and the rest of the time with a two-man rescue squad.
The city already owns the land at Atherton Drive and Woodward Avenue as it was given to Manteca by Atherton Homes nearly 15 years ago.
The new station will cost $2.6 million and would be a scaled down version of the Lathrop Road station. It will be designed to blend in with residential housing and will have low-water use landscaping.
The city council has yet to identify funding to cover the construction tab.