As the Madison Fire Department looks at building a fire station on Madison’s southeast side, Chief Steven Davis wants to take into account the perspective of neighborhood residents.
In a neighborhood meeting Thursday evening, the chief and other firefighters will solicit feedback on the future Fire Station #14 through the lens of race, equity and social justice.
Division Chief Johnny Winston said they would like to hear what other kinds of resources the community desires and whether the fire station or the fire department could provide support or space for those resources.
“We’re just trying to explore all types of possibilities of what a future fire station could look like,” Winston said.
He mentioned an expanded community room, a recreation program or an attached library, asking if any of those could be possibilities for serving the community.
“I don’t know, but I’m really looking forward to finding out on Thursday evening,” he said.
Winston said this initiative comes from the fire chief, who would like to see the department involved in furthering racial equity and social justice.
"His vision is bigger than just a fire station," Winston said. "This is something that we're trying to explore for our department. What other kinds of things can we do?"
The process will specifically aim to involve residents from Owl Creek neighborhood, a largely low-income area that is geographically isolated.
This first meeting will take place at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 19, at Fire Station #13 located on 6350 Town Center Drive. The evening will also include a lasagna dinner cooked by firefighters and a presentation from Madison Parks on their plans to build a neighborhood park.
Transportation and child care will be provided for those who need it.
“This is going to be kind of new charted waters for the fire department,” Winston said. “Hopefully we’re going to be very good hosts for the people coming in.”