TONTITOWN, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — Tontitown Fire Department now operates 24/7 for the first time in the city’s history.

The department made the switch at the beginning of 2023 to meet the growing demands of the city. Operations chief Mark Ramsey said the 24/7 service will help the department reach calls faster.

“They wake up, they put their gear on and they’re out the door within two minutes,” Ramsey said.

Ramsey said firefighters used to have to get to the station and then go answer the call when the station wasn’t operational 24/7.

“When somebody calls 911, there’s at least two people that are guaranteed to respond to the call,” Ramsey said.

Tontitown Mayor Angela Russell said the city’s increasing population makes the 24/7 service critical.

“I think it’s vitally important that we have the service that we’re able to provide for the citizens, the citizens are going to know that they are going to be safe,” Russell said.

Ramsey and Russell said the change will also benefit surrounding areas.

“One of the things we’re trying to do is expand our aid agreement with Springdale as well, by adding more staffing we can provide them a better service and they can provide us well service,” Ramsey said.

The department also added four new firefighters and is in the process of getting a new station. The new station is expected to open in November. The station is funded through a bond. The 24/7 service was made possible by a $200,000 increase in funding for the department.