GRAND BAY, Ala. (WPMI) — Joseph Ragsdale and his family lost everything when their mobile home caught fire on Sunday.
“I was worried about my grandkids, my wife, and my son. I was worried about all of them,” Ragsdale said.
Fortunately, everyone escaped the fire safely. Former Grand Bay Fire District Board Member Joseph Dozier is questioning the response time for this fire.
“Typically, a fire station is manned. And when you have people manned to go two miles down the road to a residential fire, I mean it doesn’t take 19 minutes to go down the road,” Dozier said.
NBC 15 News obtained a call log showing the actual response time. The 911 call was placed at 11:24 a.m. Firefighters received dispatch at 11:25 a.m. Firefighters left the station on Grand Bay Wilmer Road at 11:26 a.m. and arrived on scene at 11:44 a.m.
A nearly 4-mile trip took more than 18 minutes.
Grand Bay Fire District Trustee Monnie Tripp disputes claims of a slow response. He argues firefighters had to be careful getting to a tough location on Rush Lane.
“They had to travel from the station to a dirt road off of Boe Road carrying a tanker truck, an active engine down to a fire. You go paved road and don’t have to carry this equipment. We get there pretty quick,” Tripp said.
Over the last two months, several Grand Bay volunteer firefighters have quit or been relieved of their duties. Tripp said that has nothing to do with response time.
Related: Concerns over whether or not Grand Bay has enough firefighters after some volunteers quit
Interim Fire Chief Tony Baggett refused to interview with us. He told us Grand Bay Volunteer Fire and Rescue is in good hands and residents should not worry.