Celina resident Troy Hammers said he will feel safer with the opening of Celina's newest fire station near his neighborhood.

Residents like Hammers, who live in the Sutton Fields development, will soon benefit from Fire Station No. 3 when it opens in late March off FM 1385. It will be the city’s first station west of Dallas Parkway and is just one part of the department’s expansion plans.

Hammers said he recently saw a minor car accident take place “a rock’s throw” from the new station.

“If I had a crystal ball, I would say by that fire station being here in Sutton Fields that at some point that's going to save someone’s life,” he said.

The big picture

Fire Station No. 3 is the newest addition to the fire fleet with the next 11 additional fire station sites already bookmarked to plan for the department’s growth, Fire Chief Mark Metdker said.

“[Buying land now] ensures station sites will be ready for construction when development occurs,” City Manager Robert Ranc said in an email.

Metdker said additional fire stations are needed to account for distance and population density.

"New stations ... allow our residents to live comfortably and rest easily knowing that public safety is a priority in our community—no matter how much Celina grows through the years," Mayor Ryan Tubbs said in an email.

Response times to west Celina from stations No. 1 and No. 2 are usually 12-15 minutes, Metdker said. Once No. 3 opens, those times should be cut to 5-8 minutes, he said.

“Right now we have longer response times than we would like to,” Mayor Ryan Tubbs said at a Jan. 23 State of the Community event. “When minutes matter, public safety matters.”

The breakdown

Both Celina’s active and planned fire stations show city leaders’ commitment to public safety, Tubbs said in an emailed statement.

Celina will need 15 stations by the time it is fully developed and is on track to open a new one every three years, Metdker said. Each station needs at least 18 firefighters, which Station No. 3 has already hired, he said.

Demographic estimates compiled by the city expect Celina's population to reach more than 300,000 residents once it is fully developed in the next few decades—similar to Plano, which has 13 fire stations.

"Plano is my model department that I watch," Metdker said. "We're very much like the city of Plano as far as fire departments go."

Diving deeper

The goal is to have a fire station within 5 driving miles of every resident, Metdker said.

More fire stations can improve a city's Insurance Services Office rating by reducing response times, John Riddle, president of the Texas State Association of Fire Fighters, said in an email.

The Insurance Services Office is an organization that scores fire departments on how they are doing to determine residents’ and business owners’ property insurance costs.

Going forward

Division Chief Justin Beamis said Fire Station No. 3 is a milestone for the department.

“I never in my wildest dreams when I started off as a volunteer here would expect to be where we're at right now,” he said.

Hammers said he and multiple Sutton Fields residents will attend the station’s grand opening once a date is announced.

“We want to show them our gratitude,” he said. “These guys are heroes.”
Fire Station No. 3 is expected to open in late March. (Alex Reece/Community Impact)
Fire Station No. 3 is expected to open in late March. (Alex Reece/Community Impact)