If a fire breaks out in Waterloo this summer, it may take longer than normal for firefighters to respond to the emergency. Budget cuts are forcing the temporary closure of a fire station that serves the city's southwest side.

Waterloo Fire Rescue plans to shut down Fire Station No. 6 periodically this summer after three firefighter positions were cut from the department in March. The fire station is located at Ansborough Avenue and Dixon Drive.

Pat Treloar, the city's chief of fire services, says Station 6 will be closed about two weeks in July and August. The closure is expected to begin July 1st and last about 10 days. Another closure could occur in August.

Treloar says Station 6 will be closed when Waterloo Fire Rescue lacks enough staff to man its equipment citywide. The three people who work at Station 6 would be moved to the city's other fire stations to cover for others who are sick, injured, on vacation, or military leave.

According to Treloar, the temporary closing of Station 6 is the best way for Waterloo Fire Rescue to save money and maintain public safety.

When the station is out of service, Treloar warns that response times for fire calls in southwest Waterloo will be slower. During that time, emergency calls in that part of the city will be handled by fire crews at Station 2 near Crossroads Center and Station 4 at Ansborough and University Avenues.

The closing of Station 6 could have a ripple effect on response time throughout the city. Treloar says if another fire breaks out while firefighters from Stations 2 or 4 are responding to a call in southwest Waterloo, other stations would be required to respond to that emergency.