Replacement fire station dedicated in East Toledo

Ceremony honors firefighters who died in terrorist attack

9/12/2012
BY TAYLOR DUNGJEN
BLADE STAFF WRITER
Fire Station 6 Captain Dave Rodriguez, left, accepts the station flag from Private Jeff Koenigseker, commander of the Toledo Fire Department Honor Guard, during a 9/11 Commemoration Ceremony and Dedication of Fire Station 6 at 1155 Oak Street, Tuesday.
Fire Station 6 Captain Dave Rodriguez, left, accepts the station flag from Private Jeff Koenigseker, commander of the Toledo Fire Department Honor Guard, during a 9/11 Commemoration Ceremony and Dedication of Fire Station 6 at 1155 Oak Street, Tuesday.

Brian Barchick already has his "dream job," and, in a few weeks, it will be just a bit sweeter.

Mr. Barchick, a Toledo firefighter, is one of a handful of people who will move from East Toledo's Starr Avenue fire station, to the new Station 6 on Oak Street.

"The job is great," he said. "It will be nice to be running out of a brand new station."

Photo gallery: Dedication of new Toledo fire station

The new Station 6, 1155 Oak, was dedicated on Tuesday in honor of those who died in the Sept. 11 attacks on the World Trade Centers, and specifically to the 343 firefighters who died.

Fire Chief Luis Santiago said he "can't think of a better way to pay tribute to those firefighters" who died 11 years ago in the attacks on the World Trade Center.

The new station is 19,812 square feet — making it the largest in the city — and cost a total of $4,594,753, with most of the money coming from a nearly $3 million federal stimulus grant. It is expected to open in two to three weeks.

The city of Toledo paid $1,599,150 for the station from its capital improvement fund.

Chief Santiago said when the grant money was made available and departments could apply for it, some Toledo officials "said we don't really have a chance," but that former fire Chief Michael Wolever pushed officials to take the application seriously.

The department was awardedthe funds in 2009 and held a ground-breaking ceremony in October, 2011.

The station has nine dorm rooms — each will sleep one person — a training room, exercise room, and solar panels on the roof.

Station 6 is one of the busiest in the city, Chief Santiago said, adding that the crews there "do [their work] well."

Private Aaron Hague has been with Station 6 since January and said the new location will be an advantage to the crews and residents.

"We've picked up a lot of runs from the casino," Mr. Hague said. 

" It's really helps us out and it helps out the community."

The new location gives responders better access to downtown, South Toledo, and I-75 and I-280. 

Officials expect that response rates will improve once the station swap is complete.

Mr. Hague said leaving the old building, which dates to 1951, will be "bittersweet" but said he's excited about having room to spread out.

The Starr Avenue station, which will be closed until a decision is made on the structure's status, lacks carbon monoxide detection and sprinkler systems, has a leaky roof, worn floor, and is too small for current operations.

Because of a lack of space, some equipment has been kept in off-site storage, officials said.

Contact Taylor Dungjen at: tdungjen@theblade.com, 419-724-6054, or on Twitter @tdungjen_Blade.