ELIDA — It is certainly better than two trailers behind Toys R Us.
Firefighters and emergency medical technicians with the American Township Fire Department’s Station 2 now have a new place to call home. Located at 2110 Edgewood Drive, the same site as Station 2’s predecessor, the new station is now in operation, with firefighters and equipment moved in as of Wednesday. While the original station, built in 1988, was “well-built for its time,” according to American Township Fire Chief Thomas Hadding, it was time for a change.
“It wasn’t built for the staffing we have today,” he said. “We just wore it out. Who would have thought that call volume would have been what it is today?”
Construction of the new facility started in July 2016, and to accommodate the transition, firefighters at Station 2 were housed behind Toys R Us and the old Gold’s Gym, 2296 Elida Road, with two trailers on site for sleeping quarters.
“That was their home for one year,” Hadding said. “They were troopers.”
The $2.3 million facility offers numerous improvements from the previous facility, including a third bay with larger bay doors, equipment storage in a contained area with fresh air intake, greater separation between the apparatus bay and the kitchen and living quarters, a more secured entryway into the station with security cameras and a larger parking and turnaround area for fire trucks. Funding for the building was made possible thanks to the renewal of a 4.85 mill and a 4 mill levy.
“We’ve had a ton of support from the community,” Hadding said. “A little girl came in Friday and brought us two boxes of Cinnabons because she was glad firefighters were back in the firehouse. It was the cutest thing.”
American Township Trustee Paul Basinger is pleased with how the new station turned out.
“It was much needed, and we’re really glad to have it,” he said. “The old one was falling apart and nickel and diming us to death, so we had to make a decision on that, and we felt this was the best one.”
An open house is planned for September to allow township residents to get a closer look at the new building.