City leaders announced a December event to mark the completion of the fourth and final new Kettering fire station, part of a roughly $30 million overhaul of the department.
The city went from seven fire stations to four, with the completion of the West Dorothy Lane station project. A ribbon cutting will take place in December for the new Fire Station 37, according to city officials.
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The ceremony will mark the end of the multi-year project, which began in 2014.
With an average age of 42 years, Kettering’s previous fire stations lacked the physical space or available land to allow for the improvements necessary to upgrade to current standards. Existing stations were undersized for modern apparatus, devoid of mixed-gender facilities for 24/7 operations and did not meet ADA standards.
Each of the new stations will be staffed 24 hours a day with members who are trained to respond to the more than 9,000 calls for emergency service the Kettering Fire Department receives each year.
“I would be remiss if I did not thank the administrators in our Public Service and Fire Departments for their leadership bringing the construction of these four beautiful new stations to completion,” Kettering Mayor Don Patterson said. “Most importantly, I want to thank the residents who served on our focus groups, public input and design committees. Their vision for the project ensured that the new stations are more than just buildings. They are community landmarks that add character and value to our neighborhoods.”
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City Manager Mark Schwieterman said the public safety and fire departments have been working on a fire station modernization plan for more than a decade.
“We started in the 2007-08 time frame, and over the last several years we’ve been completing the plan of building new fire stations,” he said.
The estimated cost for the project also includes some upgrades to the fire department’s training facility, which is located on Dorothy Lane and Bobby Place.
“In total, the fire department project is roughly $30 million for those new stations and the equipment,” Schwieterman said.
The entire planning process also involved a considerable amount of attention towards figuring out an appropriate staffing model for the consolidated operations of the fire department.
“This has actually been a consolidation process. We’ve changed both our staffing and station model. In the past we had seven operational fire stations and our staffing model was a combination of full-time and volunteer firefighters,” Schwieterman explained. “Our staffing model today is a combination of full-time and part-time firefighters that will be responding out of four stations.”
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