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Bradner Fire Department seeks federal support for new station

The fire station in the village was built in 1955 and lacks modern upgrades and space for equipment.
Published: Apr. 6, 2021 at 5:51 PM EDT
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BRADNER, Ohio (WTVG) - The Bradner Fire Department is renewing a push for a new fire station. The current station on Crocker Street was built in 1955. Since then, the fire chief says there have not been any major updates or renovations and the building is putting safety at risk.

The station is used to house rescue equipment for the volunteer department but in the past was also used to host community gatherings, weddings, and at one point, voting. Chief Tom Wildman says the space only has one restroom and is not ADA compliant, making it an undesirable location for those hosting events or trying to access the space in a wheelchair.

Since the late 70s or early 80s, the department has tried to expand, purchasing another plot of land a block away, just through the town stoplight. Architectural plans are complete and the project is ready to roll but the one problem is money. Building a new station is estimated to cost $1.6M. The village does not have the money to fund the project so for years community members and fire department families have tried to raise money. They’ve raised nearly $100,000 but it’s a far cry from enough to pay for a new station.

Chief Wildman says the new space would have four bays, giving firefighters enough space to quickly get out of the station when a call comes in. The current station forces them to squeeze in five vehicles just inches from each other.

“Only one truck goes out at a time. The ambulance goes out first, then the tanker then the rest of them go out. We’ve lost a lot of mirrors here,” says Chief Wildman.

The current station also lacks a ventilation system that removes the exhaust. Right now, when the trucks are running, the diesel exhaust builds up on the walls and in the firefighter turnout gear.

‘The carbon monoxide detector will go off back where we fill our bottles at in the back and the building was designed where you really can’t it’s really hard to put an exhaust system into it,” says Chief Wildman.

Without the space to renovate, the Chief is hopeful a new approach will bring in what they need. He is working with grant writers to apply for federal funding. State Representative Haraz Ghanbari wrote a letter of recommendation to Congressman Bob Latta showing his support for the federal grant and is hopeful the village will soon have the safe space firefighters need.

“In my opinion, our first responsibility as a government is to provide for the safety and security of our citizens and our local businesses. Anything that deals with public safety is a top priority for me,” says Ghanbari.

In the meantime, the department will continue fundraising. The next fundraiser is on Mother’s Day at the fire station. The department is hosting a drive-thru steak dinner. Meals are $10 apiece and must be pre-ordered. If you would like to sign up just call 419-346-2665.

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