Station One, on North Preston Highway, has been staffed full time since 2002. Station Two is staffed by volunteers, something Fire Chief Kevin Moulton said is no longer feasible with growth in the area and increasing demand.
"The community is growing, we're getting lots of neighborhoods in our area," Moulton said. "We might have to look at adding another firehouse somewhere else."
Moulton said when a Station One crew has to respond to the Brooks side of the district it can take as long as 10-12 minutes. He said national standard is 5-6 minutes.
"For the people on the Brooks side, this will benefit them the most. The response times we’re giving them now are unacceptable and we’re going to change that," Moulton said.
Zoneton is also divided by I-65 and a set of railroad tracks, which Moulton said provide their own challenges.
"If we have an issue on the tracks or a train is coming it even lengthens our transport time to get to the people on this side," he said.
Moulton plans to start by adding 3 or 4 full time firefighters to Station Two.
Additionally, Zoneton will upgrade the station by adding two additional bays and seven dorm rooms.
Moulton said the project will allow the district to have two staffed fire trucks on 24 hours a day, with one station on each side of I-65 and the railroad tracks.
"My goal is to protect the 34,000 people we have in our fire district, that should be our goal," he said.
Moulton said the next phase of the project will be taking construction bids and finding someone to do the work.
He estimates the construction will cost around $1.4 million, and staffing the fire station will cost about $1 million a year.
Moulton said they'll look for new hires from within the department's existing pool of volunteers first.