PERRYSBURG, OH (WTOL) - A fire station is a safe haven for firefighters before and after a fire. But is it really?
The city of Perrysburg wants to protect its men and women from getting cancer where they work and live.
As the fire department gets closer to tearing down the old township fire station on Ft. Meigs Road and building a new one, leadership is back from Texas with expert advice on what to build.
Chief Jeff Klein learned a lot from the conference on fire station construction in Fort Worth. Most importantly, he learned that old stations like their one on Indiana Avenue, weren't built to protect firefighters' health.
"And when you look over here, you can see our turnout gear. This is the gear that firefighters wear into a fire," said Chief Klein.
Soot and carcinogens from a fire can contaminate the gear that's stored in the station's hot zone. He learned in Texas that the new station should have a hot zone, then a warm zone, and a cold zone.
Chief Klein did a walk-through the current station, and said, "You want to have that little bit of a buffer between where the dirty equipment and the possibly contaminated equipment is and where the living space is. And as you can see in our current station, as with just about any other station that has been around for more than a few years, you go right from the hot zone to the cold zone and the living quarters and as you can see right here, this is our dorm."
A three-zone format will be the centerpiece of the new fire station, the city's second, and they won't get caught up in what other cities did.
Chief Klein added, "We had been looking at some different fire stations, kind of thinking hey we want to do this and we really want to do that. What we really want to do is we want to identify what our needs are today and what are our needs in the future."
Demolition of the old fire station will happen sometime this summer and bids for the new one will go out early next year. The fire department hopes to move in by the end of next year.