YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Wednesday was moving day for the Youngstown Fire Department and everyone is excited about their new home.
Fire Chief John O’Neill officially unveiled Station Number 9, located at 1624 E. Midlothian Blvd., during a special ceremony on Wednesday. Community leaders, firefighters and residents gathered for the grand opening.
The $930,000 station includes 4,800-square feet of space that will house two fire trucks. The building replaces an old station located a few blocks east at the intersection of Midlothian Boulevard and Sheridan Road.
O’Neill said even though the new building is larger than the Sheridan station, which was built in the 1930s, it is more energy-efficient and will save the city money.
“Not only was there structural problems down at the existing station 9, but the station wasn’t placed properly for today’s department,” said O’Neill. “It was built when there were 15 stations in the city.”
Station Number 9 is one of eight in the city and is located close to Interstate 680, which O’Neill said will help improve response time.
One of the two trucks that will be housed at the station will be staffed at all times. The second will be used as a reserve truck when extra equipment may be needed.
The station has a living area, full kitchen and exercise area. O’Neill said the station is built to last for decades and accommodate any changes in demographics of the city.
“Whether the city gets bigger or smaller in the future, this station is built in such a manner that it could expand or be used just the way it is,” said O’Neill.
Youngstown Councilman John Swierz agrees the station is a much needed improvement and took time Wednesday to reminisce about his early days in the city.
“This is the end of a dream for me,” said Swierz. “If you didn’t know, I was a captain with the Youngstown Fire Department for 25 years. I served eight years at the old Number 9 Station.”
Youngstown Mayor John McNally said during the ceremony that the station is a good investment for the city. He commended past city leadership for their foresight when it comes to capital improvement projects. He said his administration will continue the focus on infrastructure.
Firefighters began responding to calls from the new station on Monday.