TUCSON, Ariz. - Station 71 firefighters are moving to a new location. The Rural Metro Fire District is no longer in its original building on Benson Highway. It will now operate around the corner, in a brand new station, on Belvedere Avenue.
"We think of it as almost a nation-wide, almost world-famous fire station. Lots of EMTs, paramedics, law enforcement, fire -- a lot of people from southern Arizona and across the country got their start at Station 71," said John Walka, the Rural/Metro Fire Department's Battalion Chief.
Station 71 is historical to this area, but the fire district felt it was finally time for an upgrade.
"We just needed to get out of that station and get in a new station where we could take better care of our equipment. Our personnel have a better place to hang out between calls," said Walka.
Overall, the newly improved Station 71 has more space, and is within walking distance of the old station. Walka says it will still have the same reach and impact -- its had for decades.
"The point to this area is that it has a lot of variety to it as far as response. It has the railway running through it, it has the highway running through it, the interstate. It was an industrial area, it has a residential area," said Walka.
The official grand opening ceremony is Monday, September 24 at 2 p.m. at the new Station 71 on 6003 S. Belvedere Avenue.