AFD enlists resident input to help narrow search for new Northwest Austin fire station

Austin Fire Department Assistant Chief Larry Jantzen (right) talks with residents of Northwest Austin during an open house Jan. 16.

Austin Fire Department Assistant Chief Larry Jantzen (right) talks with residents of Northwest Austin during an open house Jan. 16.

Bridge Point Elementary School on Jan. 16 hosted the Austin Fire Department along with several area residents for an open house held to provide information and answer questions about the need for a new station in the Loop 360 and Davenport area in Northwest Austin.

The open house was part of a multipronged effort by the city to bring more emergency services to underserved areas throughout Austin. AFD Assistant Chief Larry Jantzen said during the Jan. 16 event resident feedback is a crucial part of the process when identifying the best location for a new station.

“We go out to the areas where people want to have a station built or need a station, and we get community input,” Jantzen said. “We tell them why we’re doing it, we get some input from the community, and sometimes they can help us navigate hurdles like identifying the actual land that we want to put the station in.”

Following risk and service delivery analyses dating back to January 2016, Austin City Council passed a resolution in May 2018 asking city management to develop a plan to build five fire stations throughout the city in a 6-year period. Beyond the Loop 360 and Davenport area, plans include stations for Travis Country, Del Valle, Goodnight Ranch and Canyon Creek.

Information from the office of District 10 Council Member Alison Alter states council allocated $12 million to the first phase of the design-build contract. That money will be for the first two fire stations: Del Valle and Travis Country. The buildout of the remaining fire stations will come back to council for additional authorization.

Regarding the Davenport/Loop 360 fire station, the search for a suitable site is still ongoing, Jantzen said. Once an appropriate location is found, the city will have to acquire the land and then move to the next stages.

Jantzen said community input specifically for the Loop 360/Davenport area is valuable for several reasons, including potential site identification.

“This particular area out of the five stations that we have identified that we need to construct, we don’t own any property out here yet, so we’re asking the community to help with that, to a degree—to identify a spot that we could secure some property,” Jantzen said.

AFD Division Chief Palmer Buck spoke at length during the open house and said an ideal location for the new Northwest Austin station would be equidistant between Fire Station 31, which is west of Capital of Texas Hwy. and south of RM 2222, and Westlake Fire Station 902, which is several miles south on Capital of Texas Hwy.

AFD wants to improve response times in the Loop 360/Davenport area to increase the percentage of calls responded to in eight minutes or less, Palmer said, adding AFD’s standard goal is to achieve that response time for 80-90 percent of calls.

“Unfortunately, in the areas that you see [in between stations 31 and 902], we are not achieving that goal,” Palmer said, pointing to a map illustrating several large areas in the Loop 360/Davenport area with 8-minute-or-less response rates at less than 50 percent.

AFD business process consultant Christine Thies said during the open house the 360/Davenport area also posed several transportation challenges.

“It’s hard to get from point A to point B because there’s a valley, or you’re on a hill, or there’s no street network,” Thies said. “So, all of those things that impact you all, getting to H-E-B or wherever you need to go, it impacts us getting to an incident.”

Open house attendees had several questions for AFD firefighters involving topics ranging from noise created by new fire stations to site requirements to the size of the road needed to build a new station.

Jantzen said the next step is to examine community input from the Jan. 16 open house in order to help move forward plans for a new station in the Loop 360/Davenport area.


Designs for Pflugerville ISD's newest elementary school were on display at the Nov. 21 Board of Trustees meeting. (Rendering courtesy Pfluger Architects)
Construction to start on $86M PfISD combined elementary, middle school site by end of year

Construction on Pflugerville ISD's two newest school campuses will begin before the end of the year.

Elementary #35 existing plan (map courtesy Round Rock ISD)
Round Rock ISD discusses possible attendance boundary changes

The Round Rock ISD board of trustees discussed four concept plans for possible attendance boundary changes on Nov. 21.

The Vortex Theater off Manor Road in Central Austin has been under threat of closure due to skyrocketing real estate prices.
Music, arts communities asked to provide feedback on spending recommendations for $12 million creative space bond

After roughly a year of deliberation, the Austin's Music Commission and Art Commission have drafted criteria for how to spend the money aimed at addressing the city's rapid loss of affordable creative space.

Southside Market & Barbeque is opening its North Austin location Nov. 24. (Courtesy Southside Market & Barbeque)
Southside Market opening North Austin BBQ shop Nov. 24

Elgin-based Southside Market & Barbeque opening North Austin restaurant Nov. 24

Heart Hospital of Austin on Nov. 21 announced Megan Drake as its new chief operating officer. (Courtesy Heart Hospital of Austin)
Heart Hospital of Austin lands new COO

Heart Hospital of Austin announced Megan Drake as its new chief operating officer.

The Food Forest community garden is located on Kramer Lane in North Austin (Courtesy North Lamar International Merchants Association)
Community garden opens in North Lamar International District in North Austin

A community garden opens in the North Lamar International District in North Austin

Chez Chic Boutique is located on Anderson Mill Road in Northwest Austin. (Courtesy Chez Chic Boutique)
Boutique selling products from other women-owned businesses opens in Northwest Austin

New Northwest Austin boutique focuses on selling products from other women-owned businesses

Austin FC will begin play in 2021.
Austin FC continues filling front office positions, brings on former USMNT captain as sporting director

Austin FC announced Nov. 21 it has hired former USMNT captain Claudio Reyna as its first sporting director.

Single-family home sales set a record in October despite a historically low supply. (Nicholas Cicale/Community Impact Newspaper)
Austin home sales hit October record despite all-time low supply

Continued high demand amid low supply belies the housing crisis in Austin and the need for meaningful policy changes, experts said.

Downtown Austin facing northwest
Now in City Council's hands, land code rewrite debate heats up with first vote less than 3 weeks away

Some Austin City Council members are concerned about the speed at which the process is moving.

Apple's Mac Pro computers are assembled at a manufacturing plant in Northwest Austin. (Courtesy Apple)
Apple breaks ground on $1 billion, 3 million-square-foot campus in Northwest Austin; expects to open facility in 2022

Apple announces construction begins on $1 billion, 3 million-square-foot campus in Northwest Austin

Travis County commissioners proposed swapping ownership of the Palm School for ownership of the Travis County Expo Center and access to hotel tax revenue funds.
Travis County continues to push for Palm School-expo center swap as city of Austin considers other options

With voter approval to expand the Travis County Expo Center secured, county officials have issued an offer to the city of Austin to exchange ownership of Palm School for the expo center with a deadline of Dec. 16.

Back to top