Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Argyle Gets Good News at Night out Event Fire Station in the Plans

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Argyle Gets Good News at Night out Event Fire Station in the Plans

Article excerpt

Byline: Tracy Spengler, County Line correspondent

Despite August's typical heat and haze, the mood was upbeat as hundreds of Argyle residents joined other Clay County neighborhoods Tuesday to celebrate National Night Out, an evening dedicated to joining forces with police against crime and to promote drug prevention.

"National Night Out is also a time to identify things that aren't right in our community," said Argyle coordinator Dave Reagan, who serves on the Clay County sheriff's advisory council and has been at the center on the issue of lack of fire protection for the neighborhood.

There are approximately 2,200 homes and 7,700 residents in the area, and an additional 225-unit townhome community has recently been approved. Yet the closest fire station is south of the Orange Park Mall at 207 Blanding Blvd. The average response time to emergency calls is 15 to 20 minutes, and this has area residents more than a little concerned.

"We were a little distressed knowing that the response time is so long," said resident Mike Hardin. "With a response time of 15 or 20 minutes, well, that could mean you're dead. We're praying hard that nothing bad happens."

It was no surprise then that Commissioner Patrick McGovern's announcement of a new station was met with applause and approval.

"You are protected today, but you will be better protected on Oct. 1 with the addition of a fully functional fire department and sheriff sub-station," McGovern said.

The 2-acre "station" will actually be a house, rented to the county by developer Frank Spencer, until a permanent station can be built.

"We will have nine firefighters on board with an engine and a rescue squad," McGovern said. "On Oct. 1, Argyle will have the best police and fire protection in Northeast Florida."

The announcement brought sighs of relief from area residents. …

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