COLUMBUS (WCMH) – Station 23 serves the east Columbus community with EMS services and fire response, but now, things are changing.
Construction equipment is everywhere at the fenced-off station house on East Livingston Avenue, leaving little room for firefighters, let alone their trucks, at the station.
Columbus Fire Battalion Chief Steve Martin said crews had to move out Tuesday, adding the section of town will still be covered.
Martin said the renovations are necessary – the station is being expanded – and that crews work out of Station 23 as long as possible.
“Matter of fact, we had some people, they would be assigned to work there in the evening and there might not be a bunk for them to sleep in, so they had to sleep on a couch or, you know, find a chair to sleep in,” Martin said.
Station 23 houses two medic units, a ladder truck, and an engine, which have all been dispersed to other posts. Stations 5 and 4 are among the closest at roughly four to five miles away.
“So we’ve looked at those times and they all fall within the eight-minute response time we try to stay under,” Martin said.
The new Columbus Director of Public Safety Robert Clark said, “We will continue our coordination and efforts to ensure our Division of Fire can meet or exceed our response goals, all while we ensure our personnel are appropriately housed, staffed, and resourced.”
Martin said shortages caused by supply chain issues are playing a major role in the construction.
“So while we would like to give a for-sure date to say when this would be complete, we are waiting for large items that control the electric generator, the big bay doors, things like that,” he said.
He wants to remind the community the closure is temporary.
“We will be back and all the people that were working there are still working, so the services are not being reduced,” Martin said. “They’re just a little further away.”
Due to the supply chain issues, there is no firm timeframe as to when the station will reopen.