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The University Star

The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

SMFD opens sixth fire station


Firefighters work inside the new fire station Friday, July 21, 2023, in San Marcos.

The San Marcos Fire Department (SMFD) officially opened Station 6 on June 30. The new fire station is on South Old Bastrop Highway near the TRACE neighborhood, a HighPointe community.
The plan to open a sixth fire station was brought up by the developers of TRACE in 2015 when the city of San Marcos approved of TRACE’s request of a $16 million Public Improvement District (PID).
“We’re just excited we’re able to work with the developer to find a way to help facilitate this,” Les Stephens, chief for the SMFD, said. “To fund the facility, to fund the land and to fund the design is all the added benefit to our city.”
Without an existing fire station at least five miles from the neighborhood, the TRACE neighborhood had a 10 for the Public Protection Classification (PPC) program, a fire protection scoring system for the Insurance Services Office (ISO).
ISO provides property and casualty insurance risk to insurance companies in order to measure the cost of insurance in the area. The PPC program measures levels of safety on a scale of one to 10, 10 meaning that the fire protection provided doesn’t meet the minimum standards of ISO, one meaning that the fire protection provided is superior.
The score of 10 resulted in homeowners of the TRACE neighborhood paying high insurance rates. Now, with the addition of Station 6, the TRACE neighborhood has a PPC of two, which is the same as the rest of San Marcos.
In order to make Station 6 happen, the developers of TRACE contributed $500,000 for the design of Station 6, additionally two payments of $750,000 each toward the construction.
The groundbreaking ceremony for Station 6 was in June 2021, taking about two years to build the station.
The TRACE neighborhood holds about 1,000 single family homes and 850 multi-family homes. Originally opening in 2017, the TRACE neighborhood has a public park, an on-site elementary school, 75 acres of nature trails and now Station 6.
Along with resolving the need for fire protection in the TRACE neighborhood, the addition of Station 6 also resolves an obstacle within the SMFD. In order to meet the standards of the National Fire Protection Association, five fire stations are required to report to every single-family structure fire, which left no extra stations or apparatuses to report to other emergencies.
Stephens believes that the sixth fire station will resolve this obstacle.
“Opening the sixth station and adding the sixth apparatus means it will now be able to respond to single-family structure fires and have at least one available apparatus for another emergency that might occur while the first emergency is still ongoing,” Stephens said.
The TRACE neighborhood is still hoping to grow its community with more safety amenities such as a police station, but for now, the neighborhood is ecstatic to have a fire station nearby. Stephens is ecstatic to spread fire protection to another area in San Marcos.
“Our goal is to try to provide adequate services throughout our community and to keep pace with the growth and the demand,” Stephens said. “So, this is a piece of us being able to do that; to have a new development come into our community, new people move here to call this city home and for us to provide them adequate levels of service.”
To learn more about Station 6, visit http://www.ci.san-marcos.tx.us/3452/Fire-Station-6.

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  • Station 6 fire truck Friday, July 21, 2023, in San Marcos.

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