Pooler Fire Growing With City - Local news, weather, sports Savannah | WSAV On Your Side

Pooler Fire Growing With City

30 square miles. That's how big the city of Pooler is.

But it's only got 2 fire stations to cover all that ground.  

That is soon to change.

Two stations almost done, one more on the way, and with the buildings come firefighters.

"it just doesn't seem like we are taking a breath anywhere," explains Fire Chief Wade Simmons.

But Pooler Fire Chief Wade Simmons will be breathing a little easier soon. That's because he has two new fire stations and 15 new firefighters on the way.

"Its not uncommon to have 2-3 calls on 4 calls to start dropping one right after another," said Simmons. "When we are at a scene we are not going to leave 3-4 of you here and everybody else we are leaving you. Finish up what you are doing, enjoy it!"

Pooler fire needs to expand. They got 500 extra calls last year, up from 1700 in 2008 to 2500 in 2012.

And with 19,000 people now living in Pooler, demand is only going to keep going up.

So adding personnel, increasing from 10 firefighters on a shift to 14, and adding new stations to decrease response time, keeps people and businesses safe.

"Fire doubles in size every minute if it's burning actively," explained the Chief." We are redirecting our fire response time 50% now that fire that started on the stove won't go to the cabinets and won't destroy the kitchen and dining room."

And not only could they be saving your home, they could be saving you money too.

Insurance rates are based in part on proximity to a fire station and more stations mean better ratings.

"If you are a ISO class 10 which means you are 5 miles from a fire station," breaks down Simmons. "If you drop from that to a 6 which we currently are, it will save you 60% in your insurance rates."

And when the new Jimmy Deloach station goes up, that number could drop to a 4 or a 3.

That's another 10-15% less for each Pooler family, and the only number that is not growing in this now booming Georgia city.

And even better news for the city and the pockets of folks who live in Pooler. While the fire stations themselves cost about $1.5 million to build. All the land off Pine barron and Quacco roads, and the future site on Jimmy Deloach was donated to the fire department.

Which means they've expanded all their services without adding a dime to property taxes.

Firefighters aren't the only ones working overtime in Pooler. Calls to police continue to grow.

Breaking down the numbers for you.  

Back in 2010 officers responded to 26,460 calls. In 2011 that number rose to 28,486. And last year it was more than 32,000

That's led to more arrests as well.

In 2009, Pooler police booked 516 people.

In 2012, that number was 987.

More of those arrests, police say, were for simple crimes like shoplifting and domestic violence.

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