Saturday, November 12, 2016
By Ed Runyan
The long-held goal of building a central fire station for Bazetta Township became reality this week, as the $1.4 million project wrapped up.
“We had three calls Tuesday, and they responded from here,” said Capt. Dave Walter said while showing a reporter the new facility. “Our response times are, I would say, about half,” he said.
Response times were the primary reason for building the new station.
The department also has two other stations – one at the Trumbull County Fairgrounds on Everett Hull Road and another on the opposite side of the township on McCleary Jacoby Road.
Several years ago, the township found itself financially unable to man both stations and picked one or the other for various lengths of time.
Now that the new station is up and running, the township trustees are talking to the county commissioners about what the station at the fairgrounds will be used for in the future, because the station is on county property, Walter said.
That is the station the department has been using for about the past year. Firefighters are still using the computer equipment at that station to write reports until all of the technology is complete at the new station.
The fire department expects to move everything out of that station by the end of the year.
The township owns the building and property at the McCleary Jacoby Road site. There has been no determination for what to do with that building, Walter said.
“We’re dead center in the township and dead center in the county,” Walter said of the new site. It provides firefighters with modern facilities to house the firefighting vehicles, a classroom, separate sleeping rooms for firefighters, radio room, kitchen, dining room and living quarters and other spaces.
The department has three full-time firefighters and one part-time firefighter on every shift. Fire Chief Dennis Lewis works day shift.
One thing the new fire station won’t do is provide the department with a shortcut across railroad tracks immediately behind the station and an even shorter response time to the homes on the east side of Elm Road.
Trustees negotiated with the railroad, but they were unable to reach an agreement. They are leaving open the possibility that an easement may still be possible in the future. The tracks have not been used for years.
Local 3703 of the International Association of Firefighters, which represents the firefighters in Bazetta, solicited donations from area businesses and organizations, and they provided the funding for televisions and furniture in the living and dining areas.