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River Islands fire station under construction
River islands fire
A rendering of the River Island fire station.

The new fire station in River Islands will do more than just serve the master-planned community that it will call home.
With construction on Station 35 currently underway – crews are currently pouring the foundation of what will become the Lathrop-Manteca Fire District’s first 7-man firehouse – preparations are already being made to outfit the engine that was recently approved for purchase by the district’s Board of Directors.
And that engine, which will have to be custom-built the specifications of the district, will help improve response times for both the current and future residents of River Islands as well as calls for service along the major freeways that fall under the district’s jurisdiction.
Currently traffic along I-5 through Lathrop and the intersection with the State Route 120 Bypass are within the district’s boundaries, and at various points during the day become major traffic hotspots – during commute hours as people traveling to and from the Bay Area. The confluence of Highway 205 and Interstate 5 – which pulls massive amounts of traffic through that interchange on a daily basis – is located just south of River Islands.
Construction on the building itself is expected to continue through the rest of this year as the district makes preparations to staff the station with an engine crew until a full ladder truck crew is added at a later date. When both crews are operational, the station will house up to seven firefighters on a shift in addition to the administrative offices that will relocate from their current portable location on J Street next to Lathrop’s original city firehouse.
The station will also house at least one of the district’s new electric vehicles that will allow crews to get into areas in which traditional apparatus can’t reach – something that will be important for patrolling the levees and areas along the San Joaquin River as River Islands becomes a community that people not only live in, but play in as well.
Once River Islands approaches buildout – which is nearly 12,000 homes, or enough to more than double Lathrop’s current population – the district will begin to execute plans to staff a second fire station being constructed by the developer. The apparatus necessary to outfit both fire stations, as well as the personnel needed to man them, and are funded through fire facility fees placed on new development in the community.

To contact reporter Jason Campbell email or call 209.249.3544.