CLAYTON — As of July 6 Clayton Fire Station 84 at the corner of Wenger and Crestway roads will no longer be an unmanned station. In the past volunteer firefighters would respond to the station to use fire and rescue equipment if needed.
We have enough funding in the 2015 budget to actually open Station 84 for the remainder of the year,” said Fire Chief Brian Garver. “We are going to try a 90-day trial period out there. Our goal is to actually just improve efficiency of service out to the north and west end of the city. I’ve been here 18 or 19 years now and we’ve never had that station manned.”
Garver pointed out that when he joined the department in 1998 there were approximately 15 volunteers that staffed that fire house. Now there are three people assigned to Station 84, two part-time fire personnel that live in that area and one volunteer.
“Our responses that come out of that fire house are very small, and with the funding available this year we can actually staff two people in that fire house 24 hours a day, seven days a week,” Garver stated. “We will be tracking the amount of calls they go on, their response times and we will come back to council at budget time and give you that information so you can make some decisions.”
The city’s two largest employers are located in that portion of the fire district, Caterpillar and Northmont City Schools. There are also many upscale homes in that area.
“It’s time we give this a try and the city manager was kind enough to approve the recommendation,” Garver said.
Currently it takes the Clayton Fire Department eight to 10 minutes to respond to that area, specifically to the high school, from Fire House 85 located at the corner of Taywood and Old Salem roads.
“It would take less than two minutes to get to the high school from Fire Station 84,” Garver added. “We would have a medic and an engine based there.”
Councilman Ray Slone felt the move to have personnel based at Station 84 would be a benefit for people living in the rural area of the city.
“We’ve had people stop in and talk to us while we’ve been out there making renovations to make it livable,” Garver said. “Not too much has been done in that fire house in 20 years. Kudos to the staff. They have spent over 400 staff hours out there in the last month. They put up walls, they put in new electric, they put in HVAC duct work, lighting and water lines in, re-did the floors, painted everything and did it all on their own. We saved a lot of cost and labor by purchasing what they needed to make the upgrades.”