For close to 6 years, Inglewood Fire Station 172 has had a “Station Closed” sign hanging on its doors, due to budget cuts. On February 25, 2016 the Inglewood mayor and council members approved an amendment to the Fire Services Agreement that made Station 172 operational.
On March 1, firefighters removed the “Station Closed” sign to the delight of honking horns, as residents drove by, showing their support of the reopening.
Among the team of 5 firefighters that are stationed at 172, Inglewood native Johnny Gray, is proud to be back in the city he’s called home all his life, serving and protecting the community. “Before this, I played basketball overseas for 4 years, got used to being around the community, because I did a lot of basketball camps, community events, and as a firefighter, it’s just like athletics, and it’s the best career that paralleled basketball. I’m part of a team, there’s 5 of us here today, that’s technically our starting 5, we all play a role, we workout together, we eat together, it’s exactly like basketball. It’s the best career ever.”
Inglewood Fire Station 172 is also known as the “sweet spot” for its proximity to other stations that enables the firefighters to engage in emergency situations, more so than other stations, and also for the love the firefighters have received from the community over the years, .
When the station closed, the 172 squad was relocated to Station 171, located on Regent Street, making it the only station in Los Angeles County “…with 2 squads and 1 engine.” Gray says. Reopening 172 has offered a tremendous relief to all the surrounding stations.
Councilman Alex Padilla commented on the return of Station 172 to District 2 and to the City Inglewood:
“With us having our own fire station, it certainly is something that the community is excited about. Matter of fact, we’ve had residents go by the fire station and drop off cookies, gifts, cards, and other items, as a way to welcome them back to the City of Inglewood. The station was closed for budgetary reasons in hopes that one day we would bring it back, and we have, we’ve been able to do it through grant funding and negotiations between the LA County Fire Department and City government. It’s exciting to have a station to call our own, to be able to decrease the response time for emergencies in our district, and it’s just a welcome addition to our city.”
Inglewood Fire Station 172 and The City of Inglewood will host a grand re-opening and Fire Safety Day kicking off May 7th with a pancake breakfast at 9am, followed by hot dogs and fun activities for kids at 11am. For more information contact 310.412.8601.