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Janesville Fire

Department Facts

Service Area 34 sq. miles (city); 108 sq. miles (including rural)
Number of Stations 5
Service Area Ratio 6.8 sq. miles/station (largest of any major Wisconsin city)
Daily Staffing 24 Firefighters & Paramedics


At the October 14, 2013 City Council meeting, staff was directed by the Council to pursue the option of constructing a new Central Fire Station. The City of Janesville, with assistance from design consultant Five Bugles, is now in the process of developing plans for replacing the current station located at 303 Milton Avenue. This webpage will be updated regularly to keep the community informed of the project’s status and new project developments.



 Why does the Central Fire Station need to be replaced?

Current Station No. 1

The current station (Station No. 1), which houses the JFD administrative offices and numerous vehicles and equipment, is 57 years old. The building no longer adequately meets the needs of the JFD for a variety of reasons:

 1) There is no separate dormitory for female firefighters. Therefore, fire service employees have little privacy from members of the other gender for sleeping and dressing.  
 2)  Since 1957, fire apparatus has grown considerably in size and the current space does not adequately house the equipment used today.
 3)  Discussions on constructing a new central fire station have been ongoing since 1994. As a result, many necessary maintenance projects have been deferred (such as roof repair, window replacement, and boiler replacement). These maintenance projects can no longer be delayed, which adds to the cost associated with remaining in the current station.

Where will the new station be located?

At the April 14, 2014 City Council meeting, Council voted 6-1 in favor of building the replacement station directly to the North of the current station, occupying the 12 lots between the current station and the corner of Centerway and Milton Avenue.


Service Standards
NFPA* 1st arriving unit travel time: 4 min. or less to 90% of all incidents
NFPA* Inital full first-alarm assignment of 15 personnel: 8 min or less
Wisconsin Administrative Code: 5 or more firefighters present on scene before beginning interior operations at a structure fire
Janesville first-alarm fire assignment: 3 stations, including central station, respond; a fourth station responds to major fires
*National Fire Protection Association

How was site selected? 

A total of nine sites were examined during the site selection process. Evaluation factors included response time efficiency, response route accessibility, size, traffic hazards, target hazard proximity, topography, environmental issues, site value to tax base, acquisition cost, and site development cost. Response time efficiency and response route accessibility received the highest consideration. It was determined that the current site was favored, with nearly all other sites having a significant negative effect on response time efficiency.

For more information on the site selection process, acceptable response times and a comparison of Janesville with our peer cities on miles served per fire station, please click here.  Please also see some Frequently Asked Questions that address this topic.


What will the new station cost property owners?

At the April 14, 2014 City Council meeting, Council authorized a budget of $9 million for the entire project, including demolition, acquisition, construction, professional services, and furnishings. Council also authorized staff to proceed to final design.

What is the project timeline?  

  • February 26, 2014 - Public Information Meeting #1
    • 5:00 – 7:00 p.m. at Current Fire Station No. 1 (303 Milton Avenue)
    • See below for meeting materials 
  • March 10, 2014 – City Council meeting to review program budget and site plan
    • 7:00 p.m. at Council Chambers, #417, Municipal Building (18 N. Jackson)
    • Voted to defer action until after Plan Commission review
    • See below for meeting video 
  • April 8, 2014 – Plan Commission meeting to review the site alternatives (options 1 & 2)
    • 6:00 p.m. at Council Chambers, #417, Municipal Building (18 N. Jackson)
    • By a 3-2-0 vote, the Plan Commission voted to recommend and endorse the preliminary architectural design and to forward the proposed acquisition of land for option 2 to the City Council. The Plan Commission does not review and consider financial aspects of the project in its decision.
  • April 14, 2014 – City Council meeting to potentially select a site, approve the floor plan and program budget, and authorize staff to proceed to final design and bidding
    • 7:00 p.m. at Council Chambers, #417, Municipal Building (18 N. Jackson)
    • By a 6-1 vote, Council voted to select the site, authorized Resolution #2014-1075 which allows staff to proceed with the acquisition process, approved the project budget at $9 million, and authorized staff to proceed to final design and bidding.
  • April 2014 - Property acquisition process begins
  • Summer 2014 – Public Information Meeting #2
  • Summer 2015 – Projected construction start date
  • Summer 2016 – Projected construction completion 

What is the current status of the project?
City staff will begin the property acquisition process and continue the design process. A committee including two Councilmembers, City administrators, JFD personnel and citizens will be formed to study and make recommendations on the final design of the station.

For more information:

Please see the materials below or contact Fire Chief Jim Jensen at or 755-3050.

Central Fire Station Replacement Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

February 26, 2014 Public Information Meeting Materials:

     -   Replacement Station - Preliminary Design
     -   Acquisition & Relocation Process Chart


March 10, 2014 Council Meeting Video

April 14, 2014 Council Meeting Video


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Last updated: 4/18/2014 9:51:11 AM