Medina FD, Village Board start discussion for fire hall addition

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 9 November 2021 at 8:52 am

Bigger bays sought for ladder truck, 2 fire engines

Photos by Tom Rivers: The Medina Fire Department currently keeps its larger fire trucks, including a ladder truck, in the block building at right. The building’s garage bays only allow 2 inches of clearance for a ladder truck from 1996.

MEDINA – Village officials have started the discussion on an addition to the Medina Fire Department, a building next door to the current fire hall that would have taller garage bays and more room for larger fire trucks.

It’s currently a very tight fit for the ladder truck, and the two fire engines. The ladder truck from 1996 is 10 feet, 4 inches high. The bays have a clearance of 10 feet, 6 inches.

Medina Fire Department the past eight years has mentioned to Village Board members the current fire hall is undersized, but hasn’t pushed the issue until recently. Fire Chief Matt Jackson is urging the board to seriously look at an expansion, especially with the ladder truck nearing the end of life span. Ladder trucks typically last 25 years, the same age as Medina’s right now.

A new ladder truck, at the current size recommendations, wouldn’t fit in Medina’s fire hall.

Jackson during the Oct. 25 Village Board meeting, said he would like to see a new two-bay addition that would have clearances of 14 feet. That new building could be next door to the current fire hall with the addition in the parking lot next to the Village Clerk’s Office. The loss of parking spaces could easily be made up by having people parking next door at the Senior Center, which is also owned by the village, Jackson said.

Medina Mike Sidari said the Village Board will work with the Fire Department to look at options for a more modern building that accommodate the larger fire trucks and give the department more room.

“We will start discussing it,” he said. “The board realizes something needs to be done.”

Sidari said the village will look for grants and a low-interest loan for the project.

The current fire hall includes two buildings, a Medina sandstone structure from 1908 and then an annex built in the 1930s for the DPW. The DPW moved in 1955 and Medina FD took over the 3,960-square-foot space, which is 45 by 88 feet.

In addition to the larger fire trucks, the Medina FD runs four ambulances from the site and one of them, ambulance 61, can only fit in one of the bays.

Jackson said the two existing buildings also have poor drainage  wit parts of the floor eroding.

Medina Fire Chief Matt Jackson would like to see an addition in the parking lot with garage bays about 3 ½ feet higher than the ones in the current building.

Jackson is suggesting Medina pursue a 4,980-square-foot addition that would be 60 by 83 feet. It would have space for modern ambulances and fire trucks, be ADA compliant, and meet the department’s needs for the next 50 to 100 years. It would also have space for potential female firefighters.

The original fire station could also be potentially used by the Medina Police Department, Jackson said.

Jackson presented preliminary numbers that would have the addition at about $1.5 million. Medina also should begin the process of replacing the 25-year-old ladder truck, which is Medina’s busiest truck but often sidelined due to mechanical and electronic issues. The truck is currently out of service. The truck is costly to have repaired and parts are getting harder to come by, Jackson said. Fixing the brakes recently cost $7,400.

A new ladder truck could cost $1 million to $1.2 million. Medina could pursue grants, loans and a bond to pay for the vehicle.

“The longer we continue to put these important projects off, the more the costs will continue to increase,” Jackson told the Village Board.