July 25, 2014

Park Pointers Speak Out After Fire Hall Officially Shuts Down

By KBJR News 1

July 1, 2012 Updated Jul 1, 2012 at 11:02 PM CDT

DULUTH, MN (Northland's NewsCenter)---Those living in Duluth's Park Point lost an emergency facility Sunday.

The Park Point Fire Hall is now officially closed.

Park pointers and city officials gathered at the hall to discuss how the change will affect the community.

"This is the first time in over a hundred years that Park Point will be without a fire hall," Duluth City Councilor Sharla Gardner said.

It was a sad day for many living on Duluth's Park Point.

About 50 people concerned about the fire halls shut down came together Sunday.

"There is a need for a fire hall when you have people," Gardner said.

Councilor Gardner told community members how Park Pointers will move forward in emergency situations without the fire hall.

But many park pointers are still left concerned.

"Well it's a safety issue," Al Robins, a Park Point Resident, said.

"We're apart of the city of Duluth and we can have a problem anytime, 24 hours a day," Robins said.

For the month of July, fire engine one, which is located downtown Duluth, will respond to calls on the point.

"I understand the economics the mayor is under and we all believe the mayor is the one that really called the shots on this due to financial conditions, so I know he has to juggle that. But the safety of out lives, we have to think of that too," Robins said.

There will also be a medical unit on the point from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.

"We've been in crisis mode for so long that we're looking at cutting public safety now and that's really drastic and that is really essential. In my mind it's like taking the furnace out of your house," Gardner said.

Gardner says a fire fighter will monitor vehicle traffic, bridge and weather impacts, as well as recreational activities.

The fire hall itself could use a little T.L.C., but despite its outside appearance, the loss of this historical facility is making some Park Point residents uneasy about how to move forward.

Cathy Sahlberg is concerned her emergency needs are not going to be taken seriously with the change.

"The presence needs to be here so that anything that happens over on the bridge will not cut off anybody that is on the point...whether that is residents or visitors," Garnder said.

Gardner says July is a transition month for the city to decide how to move forward before they commit to a permanent plan.

Written and posted by Justin Reis, NNC. jreis@northlandsnewscenter.com


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