NORTH RIDGEVILLE, OH—Hundreds of people came out to tour the new fire station in North Ridgeville on July 13. They weren’t disappointed at what they found.
The new station was built across from the North Ridgeville Academic Center on Bainbridge Road after outgrowing the current station that is 60 years old, built in 1957. Even though the firefighters won’t formally move into the new facility for about two weeks, they said, the smiles and positivity of the day showed they are pleased already.
Chief John Reese said, “We have been working on building (the new station) for 18 months. The old one was 5,000 square feet. This one is 23,000 square feet. We’ve never really had an administrative fire station, and we were missing a lot of things we needed. We didn’t even have a classroom. We go into 4,000 homes a year, and we needed a good place to operate out of.”
Mayor David Gillock joined the conversation and said, “We just want to thank the residents for supporting our safety forces. (Some people don’t know) they also have mold and asbestos in the old station and our guys are living in a mobile trailer. So, we are really appreciative of the support. They have a building now they can be proud of.”
Visitors were able to see the training classroom that has the latest technology. The dorms were interesting as well: about a dozen sleeping rooms with curtains for doors, a wide, single bed and three closets for storage for the three firefighters in each room that will rotate use of the room.
There is also a medical-clean room, a place to keep medical supplies clean which are currently kept in a locker and there is also a decontamination room for all medical supplies, which they didn’t have before.
Gillock added, “I think we have the best service for our people now. But (the building) is not extravagant. It’s what they need. In fact, three guys today said to me, ‘I’m glad I voted for the levy. This is why I came. To see what I bought for the money.’”
Reese wanted to remind anyone who couldn’t come to the grand opening there is another tour in October. The new station will continue the tradition of having an open house the first Saturday in October each year.
The tour also included a visit to the kitchen/lounge area. It’s a large room with black recliners and a large screen TV as well as the notification screen seen all over the facility to keep everyone updated on unfolding events as they happen. The room is reminiscent of a large family room in any home. One firefighter/paramedic summed it up: “That is exactly what it is. Because we are a family.”
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