BY JACKSON KERLEY
Wadsworth City purchased three acres of land on College Street for $500,000 to build a new fire station. The current fire station was built in 1963 and has several issues.
“It was not designed for a combination style department such as we have now,” said Matt Hiscock, the Public Safety Director for Wadsworth. “With both full time firefighter/paramedics and part time paid on call staff.”
The current fire station is not suited to support full crews and the equipment of both departments. It does not have enough space to store both teams needs.
“Not all of the equipment is able to be stored in the building and as the community continues to grow the department has long outgrown this facility,” said Hiscock.
The building underwent an assessment in 2016 to see if a new fire station was needed. The assessment found multiple issues.
“The 2016 facility and space need assessment identified several serious concerns with the current facility . . . failing mechanical and structural systems, inadequate staff facilities, substandard health protection features, inability to meet modern industry best practices features, inadequate apparatus bay size, poor and inadequate storage spaces, limited separate bay support function areas, inadequate public space areas, a lack of training areas,” said Hiscock.
The upcoming firestations levy on May 4 is the key factor to this plan staying on schedule.
“It’s important to remember that this levy is not just about a new fire station project, annually the department has between $80,000 – $100,000 of capital expenses for things like replacement firefighter turnout gear,” said Hiscock.
Having both the firefighters and paramedics in the same building comes with a lot of equipment that needs to be stored.
“Self contained breathing apparatus, air tanks hoses, rescue tools, thermal imaging cameras, helmets, gloves, flashlights, nozzles and many more capital items, in addition to continued apparatus replacements like the 1992 Ladder truck scheduled to be replaced in 2022, as well as capital replacements of other apparatus, vehicles and equipment,” said Hiscock.
They plan to break ground later this year on the property. The goal is to have the building completed and in use by 2022/2023.
The current fire station will not be demolished and will be kept as an asset of the city, with no plans on what to use the building for.