Southlake — While the grand opening is not until January, public safety officials are putting the DPS North facility to good use.An engine crew moved in and and has worked out of the facility on 100 E. Dove Road since Nov. 25.Fire Chief Michael Starr said the crew has been receiving calls from the facility and also is helping work out some kinks like lighting and a working oven.The fire department is already seeing the advantages of having a crew at the facility. Having an engine stationed at the northern part of the city means response times to calls are shortened. Starr said in the case of a cardiac arrest, brain death occurs within four to six minutes and having a crew stationed more north they can reduce their times.“It really increases our ability to save lives up there,” he said.Lt. Mike Leonard moved from the west facility and noticed a few differences.“The workout facility we have here is a lot better than west,” he said. The room features new equipment and like the rest of the building has a new smell.Leonard also prefers the layout of the facility saying that making way from the bunks to the engine bay is smoother. Little things like structuring how personnel get to the fire engine can cut seconds off response times.The facility is shared by fire and police personnel.The city is focusing on the facility’s training capabilities. The building houses two classrooms and an auditorium that has a maximum capacity of 266.“Nowhere in the city do we have this many seats,” Deputy Fire Chief Wade Carroll said.The facility also has a gun range that police officers can so that they don’t have to leave the city for target practice.Police Lt. Ashleigh Douglas said the benefits of having the training resources are huge. It allows officers to train on a more flexible schedule, stay in the city and the departments can house regionwide training opportunities.
Dustin L. Dangli, 817-390-7770 Twitter: @dustindangli