When Fairfield Twp. transitioned in the 1990s from a volunteer to part-time fire department, its Tylersville Road station became dated, said fire department Lt. Chris Robinson.
“It was built as a volunteer (fire) house,” he said.
On Saturday, the township will dedicate its new 14,000-square-foot Station 212 on Gilmore Road, now that crews have moved out of the undersized 3,200-square-foot station, which includes part of a former 19th-century school building.
“It’s going to meet the needs of the department for many years to come,” said Fairfield Twp. Fire Department Chief Timothy Thomas. “It more centralizes the station within its response district.”
The station opened Wednesday, less than a mile and a half to the east on Gilmore Road, moving closer to developing areas of the township. But Thomas said it’s about 40 to 60 seconds farther from the Five Points area, which abuts the city of Hamilton.
Fairfield Twp. Trustees unanimously approved the new fire station last year to replace the inadequate station. Township officials broke ground in August 2018, and construction wrapped up at the end last month.
The Tylersville Road building came into use when the township still operated a volunteer department, which Thomas said meant they didn’t have crew quarters, training areas or a day room. The building also required the township to special-order ambulances and fire engines, which cost more.
“Now we can order equipment based on the need of equipment, not based on its size,” Thomas said.
The station includes four apparatus bays, a training facility, individual sleeping quarters, day room and kitchen area, and operations area.
The township transition from a day-time department to one that operated 24 hours after a 1999 tax levy passed that allowed to have two overnight paramedic crews — one at each of its stations — in the early 2000s. Over time, overnight staffing has increased.
Today, the township staffs six part-time firefighters 24 hours a day at its Morris Road headquarters, Station 211, and at Station 212. They have a pool of 72 part-time staffers.
There are nine full-time staff members, including the Thomas and Assistant Fire Chief Matt Schuman.
A dedication ceremony is set for 10 a.m. Saturday, May 11, featuring local dignitaries delivering speeches and station tours.
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