Southaven community seeks grant funding to staff new fire house

Southaven community seeks grant funding to staff new fire house

SOUTHAVEN, MS (WMC) - The City of Southaven is looking to hire a dozen new fire fighters through a federal gr ant.

The talk of staffing a fire house in her community is welcomed news for Southaven resident Chelsea Harrison.

"I would like for it to be there, I definitely would," said Harrison.

She lives in Shetland Garden, a rural but developing area not far from the Tanger Outlet.

Southaven Fire Chief Roger Thorton confirms the city is looking to hire twelve firefighters for Fire Station No. 5, partly through the United States Department of Homeland Security's SAFER gr ant.

In a statement, Mayor Darren Musselwhite said in part:

"The most significant cost of this addition is the staffing, so this gr ant could be vital in helping us move forward quicker.  Public safety is our number one priority and we are committed to providing the best protection to our residents."

Harrison remembers a time last year when it took firefighters nearly half an hour to respond to a shed fire in the neighborhood.

"It was blazing and it caught the entire tree on fire, and our fire fighters had to come from Swinea Road," said Harrison. "I think it took them about 15 or 20 minutes to get here."

The plans for Fire Station No. 5 are still in the works, but the fire house is expected to be built in the area of Star Landing and Baptist Road, a growing residential community.

"It's a win-win situation for our city," said Southaven Alderman (Ward 4), Joel Gallagher. "It is especially needed for our future where we anticipate further growth to our city in the Star Landing-Baptist Road corridor. In the past, this gr ant paid for 100 percent funding for two years. The city will now have a copay of 25 percent for two years and a 65 percent copay for year three."

Harrison hopes the gr ant is approved and in addition to safety, she would like a closer fire station to reduce her homeowner's insurance.

"We would definitely love for our premiums to go down if that's a possibility," she said.

Thorton said it was still too early to narrow a time-frame for the gr ant funding implementation.

Copyright 2017 WMC Action News 5. All rights reserved.