Las Vegas neighborhood in need to get 20 firefighters - 8 News NOW

Las Vegas neighborhood in need to get 20 firefighters

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LAS VEGAS --  An east Las Vegas neighborhood got some welcome news Wednesday when it learned it will get a fully staffed fire station due to a federal grant. 

More than $6 million in Federal Emergency Management Agency grant money will be used to pay for 20 firefighter paramedics to be on staff for the next two years at the new fire station. Station 108 is at 4555 E. Bonanza Road, near Lamb Boulevard, and will open Aug. 1.

In an emergency, mere seconds count and people who live in the surrounding neighborhood say the new fire station and firefighters are long overdue.

Temperatures in the triple digits didn't stop Manuel Arellano from doing some car repairs. His wife, Graciela, is cautious. She knows anything can spark in the high Temperatures.

"Right now, with this weather changing, the heat is like really, really bad," she said.

Arrellano is relieved a fire station will soon be hear her neighborhood.

"Everybody on this street, they're happy."

The area handles a high number of emergency calls. Firefighters respond to more than 2,500 calls a year in the area.

"Very populated, very dense, very high call volume area," said Chief William McDonald with Las Vegas Fire & Rescue.

The Las Vegas fire chief says the eastside area is putting stress on his first responders.

"The needs are there, we've known that for a long time," he added.

McDonald reached out to FEMA for more than $6 million to help ease the burden on his firefighters. The money will pay the salary and benefits of 20 full-time firefighters for two years. It will help ease the current burden on first responders.

"It would limit our overtime costs and having to work our folks as hard as we do," McDonald said.

The money also allows the new fire station to have staff round-the-clock and an ambulance.

"It will shorten the response time. In medical circumstances, that's extremely important," said Las Vegas City Councilman Bob Coffin.

Las Vegas taxpayers will pick up the tab for the new firefighters after the two-year grant runs out. City leaders tell us they are already planning to build it into the budget.


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