YELLOW SPRINGS — Miami Township will construct a new fire and rescue station following the passage of an additional bond levy in the May 2 election.
The current station was built in 1954, before the station offered ambulance services and paid its employees, according to Miami Township Fire-Rescue Chief Colin Altman.
“The department has certainly evolved a lot in the last 15 years and we’ve outgrown our space,” Altman said. “A problem we have here is the bay spaces are too small for modern trucks and ambulances — things are very tight.”
The station measures out to approximately 7,000 square feet, receiving some added-on space in the 1970s and 1980s. It serves the entire 26 square-miles that make up Miami Township in addition to the Villages of Yellow Springs and Clifton. It also assists its neighbors, including Xenia Township and the Village of Cedarville.
The department includes five full-time employees, six part-time employees and 28 volunteers. The facility includes a room that was transformed from an office to a sleeping space with two beds and another room with a couch and an Army cot, which provide employees with a place to sleep on overnight shifts. However, the room, which sits above the area where the fire and ambulance trucks park and pull away to answer calls, does not include a ventilation system. Altman said he is excited that the new facility will be a healthier space for employees.
“[The new space will ensure] they’re not exposed to carbon monoxide from the diesel exhaust all the time,” he said. ” … The biggest thing we’re looking forward to is a healthier facility. One of the biggest concerns in fire service now is the prevalence of cancer in firefighters. Diesel exhaust is a huge carcinogen.”
Preliminary plans indicate that the new department will cost approximately $5.75 million, measuring up to approximately 18,000 square feet. It will be located on Xenia Avenue between Herman and Marshall Streets with masonry-style construction.
The department sometimes experiences walk-in patients, such as an individual falling down somewhere in the Village of Yellow Springs and needing help. However, as it stands now, walk-in patients are treated in the department’s meeting room. As the new facility goes up, it is planned to have a treatment room, better serving the walk-in individuals.
“Like a lot of fire departments, I’m glad the community sees us as an asset and they recognize the value of our department,” Altman said.
The City of Fairborn Fire Department has served as a model for the Miami Township Fire-Rescue, having constructed new fire department facilities in recent years. Altman said the first step in constructing the new facility following the levy’s passage is a request for qualification for architects and he hopes to utilize the same architects who served Fairborn as it constructed new fire and rescue facilities.
Reach Whitney Vickers at 937-502-4532.