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Fire Station 2 in Fairborn back to being open 24/7

Fire Station 2 in the city of Fairborn is once again open full-time — a move that took place on Thursday after more than two years of being open just half of the time.

Fire Chief Mike Riley said the adjustment was made possible because of a new five-year contract that calls for the city to provide Bath Twp. with fire protection and emergency medical services through the end of 2017.

The city projects to collect $690,000 from Bath Twp. in 2013, about $65,000 more than the previous agreement. The per-run fee will be $1,325. There has been an average of 520.8 runs per year since 2008.

Fire Station 2, 2200 Commerce Center Blvd., opened in 2007 and was staffed full-time. In 2010, the fire department decided to keep Fire Station 2 open only half of the time because of budget constraints.

The city’s other three stations are open on a full-time basis.

Riley said the department needs a minimum of 12 firefighters on duty to keep the fourth station open. The additional funding allows the city to keep that 12th firefighter on duty, giving station 2 the minimum staff of two firefighters.

No new positions will be added.

“We will utilize the people we already have,” Riley said.

There are 51 firefighters on staff, and the annual budget for the department is $5.9 million.

The fire department recently hired three firefighters after it was awarded a $493,359 grant by the federal SAFER program in August. Riley said that once the new firefighters became part of the rotation, Station 2 was open 85 percent of the time beginning this year.

“We really needed to fill that 85 percent to 100 percent gap,” Riley said. “We were able to achieve that with the additional funds with Bath Twp. We were close. We needed a little more. It worked out.”

Station 2’s primary response district is the southeast portion of the city. Riley said it houses two vehicles, a medic and a quint, which serves a dual purpose as a fire engine and a ladder truck.

“It’s a huge benefit to have that station operating and to have access to the resources at that station,” City Manager Deborah McDonnell said. “Residents in that area have better protection and a place to go if they need help. I’m really happy we can funnel those financial resources to keep it open.”

According to the city’s website, Fire Station 2 is the only one to have a fire training tower. The station has five bedrooms and a large, open kitchen area. It’s also the only station that has a formal training room that also can be utilized as a public community room.

“I can’t foresee what economic situations may come in the future,” Riley said. “But our goal is to keep station 2 open all the time.”

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