Officials feel response time for raging VDOT fire under par

Posted at 12:17 AM, Nov 28, 2013

CHESTERFIELD, Va. (WTVR)--The amount of time it took firefighters to respond to a Virginia Department of Transportation building fire was longer than Chesterfield Fire and EMS would like to see.

According to the Chesterfield Fire and EMS fire incident report obtained by CBS 6, firefighters arrived ten minutes after the first alarm sounded for the VDOT fire last weekend.

“That’s out of our response times goals for the urban corridor, and the reason is that is a remote area of the county right next to the City of Colonial Heights,” Captain Robert Lukhard said.

The building is located in the Wathal neighborhood, which is a part of the county that does not have its own fire station. Captain Robert Lukhard said his department would prefer response times to be between six and seven minutes.

“That's the best success for if it's a fire situation to get the fire under control quickly,” Lukhard said.

The county agrees response times need to improve in the Wathal neighborhood, according to Lukhard.

He said the county approved building a new fire station there almost ten years ago, but then, the economy tanked.

“Due to the recession…the great recession…and county budget… and just the hard times everyone was having…we had to put that construction off,” Lukhard said.

With the economy now improving, the fire department expects by this time next year, a new station will be up and running off of Harrogate Road.