Waco, TX (FOX 44) — The China Spring Volunteer Fire Department is expanding its services to a new location.

They’re now operating a second station at McLennan Community College’s Highlander Ranch.

MCC staff say they’ve been planning this for a year to prevent brush fires on the property.

MCC VP of instruction and student engagement Dr. Fred Hills says a portion of Highlander Ranch stretches into China Spring.

“We’ve given them access so that they can not only support, help us, in our area, but as well as the local area,” said Dr. Hills.

China Spring Volunteer Fire Department Captain Andrew Owens says a quarter of its staff lives near the ranch and can cut down response times by six to ten minutes in emergency situations.

Hills says the partnership will keep the community treasure safe for everyone to enjoy.

“We’ve already seen some good programs moving forward. Now we know we’re going to be here. We can actually do a little more longer term planning, which has been a real positive, and I expect the community will see some big changes in the next year,” said Dr. Hill.

For the time being, five volunteer firefighters will work in the second fire station.

Outside of Highlander Ranch, the stations service area will also include the Bosqueville community.

Captain Owens released a statement saying its a positive step for any department and is in its early stages.

Owens adds the second station can help tap into individuals in the Bosqueville area who may want to join the department and looks forward to this new chapter.