New OH station will meet growing community response needs

July 6—Washington Township. officials broke ground on a new $7.1 million fire station Tuesday night.

The 15,259-square-foot facility at 716 E. Franklin St. next to Centerville High School will replace Fire Station 41 on Maple Avenue, township administrator Jesse Lightle said. Station 41, just off Ohio 48 behind Benham’s Grove, opened in 1969 and, at 7,481 square feet, is half the size of the new station.

When township officials began looking for land to purchase for this station, they analyzed response time data to determine the best location, Lightle said.

“Our data indicated that we needed to move the new station slightly to the east,” Lightle said. “This new location on Franklin Street will provide us with enough land to build a suitably sized station that meets the needs of adequate staffing and modern fire and EMS apparatus.”

The new station, on a 5-acre property just east of Centerville High School, provides immediate access to a major thoroughfare, unlike Station 41, which is in a neighborhood, Lightle said.

The new station will supply the Washington Twp. Fire Department with an up-to-date facility that can accommodate modern fire vehicles and EMS. It will include four drive-thru bays and a training mezzanine to perform several types of rescue training, including window and rope rescue, as well as confined space rescue.

These features are not part of the existing Fire Station 41, which is the oldest of five stations in the department.

The new station will also include a storm shelter, a generator for the whole building and a photovoltaic system to supplement energy consumption.

Its location will help the township respond to growing call volumes, which Lightle said have “significantly increased” from 5,773 in 2007 to 8,759 in 2021, an increase of nearly 52%.

The new station also gives the department more room for staff, according to Fire Chief Scott Kujawa. Fifteen years ago, the fire department had 21 full-time, 70 part-time and 56 volunteer firefighters. Its current workforce consists of 80 full-time employees with 7 part-time firefighters, Kujawa said.

The maximum storage capacity of the existing station is six staff members per shift, he said. The opening of station 41 will give the department eight rooms with bunk beds.

“So we can expand when we need to (by adding) additional people to this station,” Kujawa said.

The new facility will be paid for through an ongoing $2.85 million levy on the City of Centerville and Washington Township Fire Departments. voters approved in 2019. Officials said at the time that a new station would be needed to cope with rising call volumes, changes in device sizes and staff changes since then where most firefighters were volunteers responding from their homes.

Kujawa said Station 41 is one of the top two stations in the department, in terms of call volume. The new station will handle the same area, for the most part, with some of the outskirts relocated to other stations, but it will help the department reduce response times to the east, an area in which fire officials realized that there were “performances”. shortcomings,” Kujawa said.

Construction is expected to be completed by August 2023. The station is being built on land the city purchased from City of Centerville Schools.

“We appreciated their willingness to allow us to purchase this land,” Lightle said. “We think this is a great location next to Centerville High School.”


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