MANHEIM TOWNSHIP, Pa. (WHTM) — A Lancaster County community is seeing faster response times after a new fire station opened earlier this year.

Manheim Township Fire Rescue held a ribbon cutting ceremony and open house on Wednesday night to show off Station 202.

As the Northwest-Richmond square continues to grow, the need for first responders grows as well.

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“We had some unprotected area, residential, commercial units that we really wanted to make sure we were improving our fire rescue delivery,” said Chief Scott Little.

That’s why Manheim Township commissioners approved a fourth fire station in 2021, which they created by renovating an old bank that was vacant for two years.

Since the fire station’s opening in January of 2022, the immediate area has seen a direct impact in response times. “We have reduced our response time by over 40% to the Northwest Richmond Square area of Manheim Township,” Little added.

The station is staffed with three fire fighters and one fire engine 24/7, and people in the community say they are pleased.

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“I think it’s very important that we have something close by expanding out, just provide for the community. More fire stations, just better coverage, quicker response times,” said neighbor Spencer Zimmerman.

The new location is actually saving taxpayers money because they renovated an already existing space.

“With the lease and the cost of the renovation, we’re spending here about $100,000 a year on the lease again, versus what would have been two to three or more million dollars to build a facility,” said Rick Kane, Manheim Township manager.

Kane said the community engagement at the new station has been “incredible, probably better than we thought it was going to be. Since we’re in kind of a commercial mixed use area here, the residents that live in the apartments and single family homes close by a kind of already adopted the crews that work in this station.”

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