New homes and business developments that have pushed Reynoldsburg's boundaries eastward may eventually require changes in how the West Licking Joint Fire District operates.

New homes and business developments that have pushed Reynoldsburg's boundaries eastward may eventually require changes in how the West Licking Joint Fire District operates.

Fire district officials plan to review the current service area, part of which is in the eastern portion of Reynoldsburg, in an effort to evaluate if current stations need upgraded or if new facilities should be built.

The West Licking Joint Fire District (WLJFD) currently operates three stations and one maintenance facility and plans to build a fourth station in Jersey Township.

Reynoldsburg City Councilman Doug Joseph, who is also vice president of the WLJFD board of trustees, said most of the city is in the Truro Township Fire Department's jurisdiction, but three other departments also serve portions of Reynoldsburg.

"You have Jefferson Township along the East Broad Street and Waggoner Road area; then Violet Township that services the area near Walmart (Taylor Road Shopping Center on Route 256); then the West Licking fire district, which falls in the Licking County portion of Reynoldsburg, which is about 20 percent of the city," Joseph said. "Over the course of time, you have different development occurring in different areas that at the time the stations were built might have been fine ... Today, they don't service the district in the most time-efficient way."

Joseph said a prime example of this is the West Licking station, built in 1983 at 7125 Mink St.

"That was when Reynoldsburg had a miniscule presence within Licking County, but today, it has grown by several thousand people -- all in the jurisdictional boarders of West Licking fire district," he said.

He said it might make more sense to have a station closer to these population centers -- one that could make fire services "more time-effective" for the east side of Reynoldsburg and the west side of Pataskala.

"Whether that means a modification of existing facilities or an entire replacement or movement of existing facilities is something we ought to be looking at," West Licking Fire Chief David Fulmer said.

"Anything is a possibility," he said. "If we do a comprehensive review and plan for our facilities, then everything will be taken into account, from where we currently run to what the potential shift in demographics may be by what's on the books for developments."

Fulmer said a fourth station will be built in the next year or so in Jersey Township at the intersection of Putnam and Morse roads.

"As the 109 square miles that we protect begins to fill in and populate, and as the increased need for service grows, we'll have to look at future stations, without a shadow of a doubt," he said.

The subject of better serving the eastern portion of Reynoldsburg has been discussed by Truro Township trustees, who have in the past asked the city of Reynoldsburg to consider conforming its boundaries with those of the township.

Truro Township trustee Pat Mahaffey said if the city were to conform its current boundaries, Truro Township's fire and EMS services could expand to cover city residents who live in Etna, Jefferson and Violet townships.

So far, Reynoldsburg city officials have resisted such a move because it would take a lot of money away from the other townships, especially the West Licking department.

As for the WLJFD's plans to review the situation in preparation for the future, Mahaffey said he thinks it would be great if a new station were built closer to the eastern edge of Reynoldsburg in order to better serve those residents.

"Nobody cares whose name is on the side of that emergency vehicle when it pulls up out front," Mahaffey said. "And those guys do as good a job as we do. It's just that area is ill-served, that's all."