Fire inspector looks forward to completion of new station

Many residents have wondered about the construction of the new Cleveland Volunteer Fire Station that will be on Commerce Avenue.
The building process will take time, and at the recent Cleveland Board of Aldermen meeting, city engineer Josh McPherson said when the foundation was first laid, it wasn't done up to the standard the city expected so it had to be busted up and replaced.
Mayor Billy Nowell said the contractor is paying to have the foundation fixed and not the city.
Water was pooling in some areas of the foundation and because this will be a station that uses water to wash the trucks, pooling water was not acceptable.
According to Cleveland Fire Inspector Greg Jackson, the main reason for a new station is the growth of the fire department.
"What we've found is the fire stations have had to become larger due to equipment sizes. We're also going to centrally locate the ladder truck so we can better serve both sides of town at the same time.
"Fire trucks are bigger than they used to be. We're required to have four door trucks for safety reasons. They're also a lot longer than they used to be."
Because of the congestion downtown, it's difficult for firefighters to get the trucks in and out of the station easily.
This new station will be a drive through and allow for easier travel as the firemen answer calls.
"We've grown, the fire department has grown. That station was built years and years ago and it doesn’t accommodate the newer equipment. It'll be our central station with offices over there and city hall will then have free space.
"We're looking forward to better serve the entire community but having a central location. The board and the mayor are very forward thinking and very growth conscious for the town. The town is growing and a lot of things are happening, they're planning and thinking ahead and being good stewards with what we're doing at the fire department," said Jackson.
The construction has taken longer than expected because of the great rainfall Cleveland has seen over the last several weeks.
"There's been a lot of people that have put a lot of time and effort into it being conducive to how our department operates. This station will house a ladder truck, front line pumper, which is about a year old, it'll also house our main rescue truck, which carries our air packs, rescue tools and our lighting system is on that truck," said Jackson.
He also thinks this station will be more accessible to the public and encourages people to stop by with their children to learn more about the department.
"At the end of he day the fire station belongs to Cleveland and we want them proud to see it," he said.
“With a drive through station, the roads will be open to the post office and Commerce Avenue. We'll come into the station on Commerce and the trucks will be able to drive straight out. Like I said, the trucks are larger than they used to be. This will get us out of a congested area," said Jackson.
"We're better than we were 25 years ago and we were the best in the state. To continue being the best we've got to be forward thinking," he said.

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