WACO, Texas – U.S. Senator John Cornyn visited Waco Friday morning to deliver remarks at the grand opening of the Waco Fire Department’s new Fire Station #5.
“Thanks for the great work y’all are doing. We’re glad to be able to bring a little help from Washington D.C.,” says U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas.
The Waco Fire Department received a $842,523.30 federal grant through the Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) in September.
The money will be used to hire six new firefighters, three of which will serve at Fire Station No. 5.
“The grant will allow us to have the funding to provide additional personnel that we need, so we are really grateful for that,” says Bobby Tatum, Jr., Fire Chief for the Waco Fire Department.
Relocating the facility has been in the works for three years and has cost taxpayers just over $2.8 million.
“This is the second time the City has used the Design Build process and it has again provided us an excellent project at a very reasonable cost,” says Waco Mayor Kyle Deaver.
The new station has everything a first responder needs to work a regular 24-hour shift.
“I think it’s also significant that this is not just about fighting fires, this is about answering all sorts of emergencies because each of these firefighters is also trained as an emergency medical technician. So they are going to be able to save lives as well as fight fires,” says Sen. Cornyn.
Sen. Cornyn toured the station with Waco Mayor Kyle Deaver and Fire Chief Bobby Tatum.
Chief Tatum Jr. is retiring December 31st. He says he is proud to see fire Station Five complete.
“Fortunately, I’ll be able to see Station 5. Our ISO rating going from a Class 2 to a Class 1 is huge. And then also, our project with Fire Station 6 is coming up. So three major projects that I had during my five-year plan are going to come to fruition before I leave, which is really good,” Chief Tatum says.
During his visit, Senator Cornyn also touched on topics like the 2020 Election and gun control regulation. Watch the entire press conference below: