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Quicker fire response on the way
$3M station will improve service in northwest Manteca
Manteca’s next fire station will be built on land donated by Pulte Homes on Lathrop Road as part of the next phase of the Del Webb at Woodbridge neighborhood. - photo by RYAN BALBUENA
Manteca’s fourth fire station will have a split personality when it comes to its architecture.

The proposed station on the north side of Lathrop Road west of Union Road is part of the 1,406-home Del Webb at Woodbridge neighborhood’s latest phase.  That phase is now in the process of having $1.7 million worth of infrastructure put in place to prepare for building 49 homes.

The design for the station incorporates single-family home elements on the sides that will face future homes and commercial -style elements for the sides facing future retail development. Construction materials will employ cement plaster and stone veneer for the exterior walls of the 7,173-square-foot structure. The elevations will also include aluminum windows and a tile roof.

“We are moving the project forward so it can be ready when we have the funding in place,” said Manteca Fire Chief Kirk Waters.

The Manteca Planning Commission on Tuesday will review the site plan during their 7 p.m. meeting at the Civic Center, 1001 W. Center St.

The city has applied for a Federal Emergency Administration (FEMA) grant to help build the station. They also collect growth fees on new construction specifically for fire stations.

The site will include a 140-foot radio communications tower on the eastern side of the station near future retail.

A 7-foot masonry wall will be located along the northern and southern sides of the property while a seven-foot decorative metal fence will go along the east side. That is so firefighters exiting the station can see pedestrians on a walking trail that will run along the east side of the site.

The station will accommodate one engine company and four firefighters.

It is on the corner of the future third - and southern - entrance to Del Webb at Woodbridge known as Madison Grove Drive. The fire engine will exit onto Lathrop Road. The fire engine will enter the station from the back via Knotty Pine Court.

The fire station site will not back up to any houses but instead will be separated by streets.

Steady building is taking place both at Del Webb at Woodbridge and the adjacent Union Ranch. Ultimately, 1,922 homes are being built on 500 acres.

Before work started on the two neighborhoods north of Lathrop, an estimated 2,000 homes in northwest Manteca were already outside the five-minute response time. Once completed, there would be 4,000 homes – or almost one out of every six residnetial units in Manteca – outside the targeted response range.

The Lathrop Road fire station assures Manteca will be putting resources where they are needed.

When built, the Lathrop Road station will bring thousands of homes in northwest Manteca under the targeted five-minute response time umbrella for emergency fire and medical services plus provide coverage for the Center Point business park going in east of the Union Pacific intermodal yard.

The five minute response time is a mantra for those who make a living putting out fires and responding to heart attacks.

Having firefighters and equipment on the scene of a fire or medical emergency within five minutes is essential for two reasons:

•The chance of surviving a heart attack or major trauma starts dropping off rapidly after five minutes.

•”Flash over” when fires literally erupt occur within five minutes of the first visible flame.

It sounds like a lot of time, but it really isn’t. The first two and a half minutes are consumed by a call being placed, equipment dispatching and the engine actually rolling out of a fire station.

That leaves 180 seconds for firefighters to reach a structure fire or a major medical emergency.