The Gazette reports that Billings Heights will require construction of a second fire station as soon as 2021, and the Billings City Council will have to decide during the coming months what level of fire and emergency medical service it expects.

Emergency Services Consulting International, an Oregon-based consultant, delivered a long-range master plan to the council Tuesday. Call volumes are increasing faster than your firefighter commitment, according to the emergency consultant. By National Fire Protection Association standards, Billings is two fire stations short of the national average for cities of Billings’ size.

A new Heights fire station reportedly would not only provide faster response times in that neighborhood, but boost protection downtown. Interim Fire Chief Bill Rash said firefighters fought about 100 fires in 2017. Nearly two-thirds of their more than 14,000 calls were for emergency medical services.

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