MIDLAND, Texas (Big 2/Fox 24) – The Midland Fire Department is now welcoming two brand new stations. Midland City Council voted unanimously to pass the $9.5 million project on Tuesday.

“It’s really going to help our department give the citizens of Midland, and the citizens of Midland County, much better service in that part of town,” said Chief Charles Blumenauer.

He says Station 5, which has been recently demolished, serves as the hub of Midland stations. It backs up all of the other locations due to its central location. Chief says Station 11 would allow more coverage in Northwest Midland. It will be built on Briarwood Avenue – a piece of land donated to the fire department in 2015 by an oil field company.

“We’ve completely demolished Station 5 to the ground. It’ll be a new site. Station 11 as well is going to fit into that neighborhood. There’s a lot of traffic accidents and stuff in that area. This allows us to access that quicker, and it also allows us to access that area of the county for brushfires.”

Designs are finished and will be sent to contractors for bidding. Officials will review them in two months and award bids as soon a March.

“I think it was important for us to continue to move forward for the safety of our city and to keep us more than just caught up, but to get us ahead of certain emergencies we face and the needs we have as a community,” said Mayor Patrick Payton.

During Tuesday’s meeting, the council also voted to accept the county’s donation of $990,000 to the city. The money will be used to purchase three new squad trucks.

“Instead of sending the fire truck, which is a lot heavier with more expensive pieces of equipment, it is a lighter weight, quicker access, quicker response vehicle,” explained Blumenauer.

Midland County and the Midland Fire Department have an inter-local agreement, as Midland Fire serves as the fire and EMS personnel for all of Midland.

While the department is still short of 37 men, Chief says ten of those are new positions added this year for station 11. He says the department is steadily catching up on employee shortages.