Construction is well underway on the City of Cleveland’s new fire station, located on Grand Oaks Boulevard at the entrance of the Grand Oaks Reserve community off of SH 105/SH 321. On Sept. 20, before the start of a council meeting, council members were treated to a tour of the fire station by Fire Chief Sean Anderson, who is anxious to get settled in at the new station.
The $5 million, 12,000-square-foot, brick veneer and board-and-siding building was designed by BRW Architects, Inc., and is being built by N & T Construction, Inc., of Beaumont, Texas. The City broke ground on the fire station on Jan. 6, 2022, with the expectation that the building would be complete within 12 to 18 months, weather permitting.
The framing for the interior of the building is complete and drywall work has begun.
“Plumbers have already put in their lines, sprinkler systems are in and HVAC is being installed,” Anderson told council.
Trailing behind Anderson as he walked from room to room, Council were directed to the areas set aside for a reception desk, staff offices, male and female dorms, an exercise room, meeting room, tool storage, a dayroom and a kitchen equipped with three separate pantries and refrigerators.
“If you know firefighters, then you know that all they argue about is who finished the ketchup and who is going out to buy more,” said Anderson, jokingly. “Each shift will have its own pantry and refrigerator, so they can buy their own stuff and use their own pantry.”
Behind the building will be a picnic table where firefighters can enjoy their meals, an area for grilling, parking for the on-duty staff, an emergency generator and a 100-foot radio tower. That area also will have security fencing.
Three large bays will house a ladder truck, pumper truck, booster truck or medical response unit, and a medic unit, the latter of which will be used by Allegiance EMS, which is contracted by the City for ambulance service. The doors to the bays will be bifold on the front side and roll-up on the back side. The bay area also has louver vents near the ceiling that will open automatically to remove exhaust fumes.
“There is a sensor that will kick after it picks up the presence of exhaust and will open to bring in fresh air and remove the diesel exhaust,” explained Chief Anderson.
Along the south wall of the fire station will be a rack for hoses, a tool room where oxygen tanks can be refilled, and washing machines for bunker gear. Airlocks that connect the bay area to the rest of the fire station should minimize particulates from traveling into the living quarters and offices of the building.
“The reason we have airlocks is there are 17 cancers that are specific to firefighters that come from exposure through firefighting,” Anderson said. These include cancers of the kidney, lung, brain and esophagus.
The second floor of the building is connected by two stairwells and an elevator. On the second floor are separate male and female dorms for firefighters, and four separate sleeping quarters for the medics working for Allegiance EMS.
The property for the fire station was donated to the City by McKinley Development Group, developer of the Grand Oaks Reserve. Not only will the new fire station make it easier for firefighters to respond to emergencies in the growing neighborhood, the location is just off the SH 105 bypass that connects to Plum Grove Road, US 59 and SH 105 on the west side of Cleveland. It is the first new fire station for the City of Cleveland in 50 years – the last being the fire station at the corner of Boothe and Bonham streets.