A fire station south of Tucson that services about 5,000 residents is set to close by May unless union members and the company that owns the station come to an agreement.
Nico Latini, president of the Old Pueblo Firefighters Association, the union that represents Rural Metro firefighters in Pima County, said Station 81, at 966 E. Hughes Access Road, south of Tucson International Airport, handles around 1,100 calls annually.
Closing the station would double response times, Latini said.
Rural Metro Fire does not have mutual aid or automatic aid agreements with the Tucson Fire Department, meaning other Rural Metro fire stations would have to respond to calls in the South Nogales Highway area.
The two closest Rural Metro stations to the area are Station 71, on East Benson Highway near South Alvernon Way, and Station 82 in Sahuarita. Travel time between Station 71 and Station 81 is 12 minutes.