By Linda Dillman
A five year plan to bring a fire station to northern Madison Township is coming to fruition with the final stages of construction of Station 183 at 3232 Noe-Bixby Road.
In 2013, the township acquired the property from Franklin County’s Land Bank and voters approved a 5.25 mill levy to build, staff, and equip the station, along with establishing a fire apparatus replacement fund.
Madison Township Fire Chief Jeff Fasone said the new complex, which houses a medic, but not an engine, also differs from the department’s two other stations in its security measures, number of bays—two versus three, flooring—concrete versus tile/carpet and is only one story with no basement.
“It is also in a residential location versus a commercial or industrial area,” said Fasone.
Station 183 is staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week with two firefighter/paramedics and one officer. It went into service on June 19 at 7 p.m. A public access lobby contains two emergency call boxes –one for police and another for fire emergencies, along with public restrooms and a treatment room for walk-ins.
A dedicated office within the controlled access portion of the building is outfitted with a video feed providing rotating images of traffic cameras, activity of the top six companies in the area and a local unit staffing schedule. Security cameras are located throughout the building and access is via key fobs.
A report room, which can accommodate training when necessary, contains three stations with monitors. The building also houses a smaller resource room, individual bedrooms, workout room and an open kitchen/dining/and dayroom area.
“This was our first foray into concrete floors,” said Fasone, who said firehouses are getting away from carpeting for sanitary reasons.
Fasone said another unique aspect of the building is a gear room that doubles as a tornado shelter with reinforced ceilings and walls. The station also contains a decontamination room for fire and EMS personnel and equipment.
“What’s exciting for me are all of the donations we received, like a computer rack from the high school they just demolished,” said Fasone. “A majority of the chairs came from state surplus. They retail for $375 and we got them for free.”
In the laundry area, a brand new front loader washer/dryer set was donated by Saddle Creek, as well as a refrigerator, dishwasher and industrial coffeemaker in the kitchen. A large dining table was also donated and originally served in Columbus’ Local 67 firefighter union hall.
“Bookshelves came from the old high school principal’s office,” Fasone said, “and a desk and lamp also came from Groveport. Lazyboy donated furniture for the day room.”
An open house for the public to see the new fire station will be held on Aug. 25 at 10 a.m.
“We are on target, financially, with this project,” said Fasone.
While the $3.8 million station is a brand new facility, a previous Station 183 existed in Edgewater Park on Floyd Dr. until 1985 when now retired Fire Chief Larry Flowers combined it with a Groveport College Street facility to create a new Station 181.
Fasone said Station 183 will help with EMS response times, which have steadily increased throughout the years. Including both Madison Township and mutual response data for fire and EMS, in 2016, the department recorded 6,647 runs; 6,823 in 2017 and 1,656 runs just through March of this year.