Cleveland FD celebrates grand opening of Fire Station 2

Instead of cutting a ribbon for the grand opening of Fire Station 2, Fire Chief Sean Anderson (right) disconnects the brass couplings of a fire hose with a little help from Cleveland Mayor Richard Boyett.

The long-awaited grand opening of the City of Cleveland’s new fire station was a major event on Friday, May 5, bringing together members of the community, local politicians, and representatives of firefighting from Liberty County and neighboring communities.

Fire Station 2, located at the entrance of Grand Oaks Reserve near the crossroads of SH 321 and the SH 105 bypass, was constructed on land donated to the City of Cleveland by McKinley Development, the developer of the Grand Oaks Reserve neighborhood.

The two-story, three-bay fire station is approximately 12,000 square feet and cost the City roughly $5 million. Designed with a brick veneer and board-and-batten siding was the inspiration of BRW Architects, Inc. The building, which broke ground in January 2022, was constructed by N & T Construction, Inc., of Beaumont.

Cleveland Fire Station 2 is located at the entrance of Grand Oaks Reserve subdivision. The new fire station is expected to improve Cleveland Fire Department’s ISO rating. Currently it is a 3, with 1 being the best score and 10 being the worst.

Friday’s grand opening included a ceremony by Masons with the Grand Lodge of Texas.

In his remarks to the crowd gathered for the grand opening, Fire Chief Sean Anderson explained that the new fire station may improve the department’s ISO rating. Currently it is a 3, with the lowest score of 1 being the most enviable and best.

“We have also begun improving on the number of personnel available to respond each day through being a recipient of the 2019 federal SAFER grant for personnel, of which we are in our final year of funding and we have applied again for the 2022 funding to hopefully add additional personnel next year and be able to staff both stations,” Anderson said.

The Chief said the new fire station will not only meet the current needs, but the future needs, of the department.

“The current stations we have and had were designed for the time they were built. At that time, the entire department was volunteer. Starting in 2009, the department began the move toward being a combination department, meaning we have volunteer and paid staff. We plan on utilizing these station plans to continue to meet the ISO requirements of additional stations and build another station in the future by using the same design and layout of this station,” Anderson said.

In lieu of a ribbon cutting, the grand opening ended with the uncoupling of two brass fittings from the 1970s that were installed on new red fire hoses.

Firefighters then took part in another not-often-seen “Push In Ceremony” where they pushed a fire truck (with a little help from the engine) into the fire station bay.

Anderson explained the ceremony prior to it being demonstrated.

“Beginning in the 1800s, after crews returned from a call on horse-drawn apparatus, the horses were unable to back into the station due to the amount of weight. This required members to detach the horses and push the equipment into the bay. As many things do with the modernization of the apparatus to include motors, the need to manually move equipment was gone,” he said.

The legacy of the push-in ceremony has remained a part of fire service culture.

“Therefore in honor of the past, we will push in the newest apparatus we purchased, which is a 107-foot ladder truck, the first 100-[plus]-foot ladder in the history of Cleveland Fire Department. We ask all current members, past members, city council members, city administrators who would like to participate to please go to the front of the ladder truck and help us push it for the first time,” Anderson said.

Following the push-in ceremony, guests at the grand opening were given an opportunity to tour the fire station.

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Before creating Bluebonnet News in 2018, Vanesa Brashier was a community editor for the Houston Chronicle/Houston Community Newspapers. During part of her 12 years at the newspapers, she was assigned as the digital editor and managing editor for the Humble Observer, Kingwood Observer, East Montgomery County Observer and the Lake Houston Observer, and the editor of the Dayton News, Cleveland Advocate and Eastex Advocate. Over the years, she has earned more than two dozen writing awards, including Journalist of the Year.

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