Akron, Ohio, September 13, 2019 – Yesterday, Akron Mayor Dan Horrigan, Fire Chief Clarence Tucker and City officials celebrated the opening of two brand new fire stations in the City of Akron with community open houses and ribbon cuttings for each. Fire Station No. 2 in Middlebury (952 E. Market St.) and Fire Station No. 4 in downtown Akron (81 West Thornton St.) are the first two stations to be rebuilt utilizing Safety and Streets funds from the .25% income tax increase for police, fire, and roads passed in 2017.
Mayor Horrigan stated, “Of all the initatives I’ve undertaken in my first term, I’m most proud of the passage of the Safety and Streets tax, and the way it is already transforming our city into a safer and more stable community. These two fire stations are dedicated not only to the men and women of the Akron Fire Department who so nobly protect our citizens every day, but also to the Akron citizens who support our first responders. Just as these firefighters and medics keep us safe, we must do the same, by providing them with the facilities and equipment they need and deserve.”
The new Stations No. 2 and No. 4 are the first stations built in Akron since 1996. The former Fire Station No. 2, Akron’s oldest fire station until now, was constructed in 1944 and was being held up with temporary supports to prevent collapse of the garage floor into the basement. The new station, constructed on the same site, preserves the station’s storied history, including the “Boy and Girl with Umbrella” fountain that has been an iconic feature of the neighborhood since the early 1900’s. Station No. 2 also has newly designated space available to share with the Akron Police Department, which can be used for Neighborhood Response Officers to meet with the community members in their own neighborhoods, for APD to host community meetings, and as office and personal space for on-duty officers.
Station No. 4, traditionally Akron’s busiest fire station, will now also house the Fire Administration offices as well as AFD’s specialty units including their Rescue, Hazmat and Bariatric units, as well as units for more extreme situations including their WMD trailer, designed for a weapons of mass destruction response, and an MCI trailer, designed for managing mass casualty incidents. Station 4 will function as a true command center for the Akron Fire Department, placing the organization’s top chiefs back in a fire station, rather than in an administrative building, working alongside firefighters for the first time in 25 years.
Fire Chief Clarence Tucker adds, “These stations, and the other investments in the Akron Fire Department, are a huge boost to our firefighters and medics. We are now even better equipped to respond to emergencies and are also able to keep our workers safer from the dangers of the job. It means everything to this department to feel supported by our citizens and our City.”
Yesterday’s open houses featured hands-only CPR demonstrations, sign-ups for free smoke detectors, guided tours, and light refreshments courtesy of construction managers G. Stephens, Inc. (Station No. 2) and Thomarios (Station No. 4) as well as donations from Rubber City Arches and Angel Falls Coffee.
“Investments in these fire stations are not only a boost for our public safety workers, but also to the surrounding neighborhoods. Residents are able to drop in at these locations to receive information, obtain screenings and emergency medical services, and interact with the firefighter/medics that serve them directly. These new stations are true community assets, as they were made possible by the Akron voters,” stated Akron City Council President Margo Sommerville, who represents Ward 3, home to the new Station No. 4.