Wednesday, July 31, 2002

Deerfield plans 4th fire unit

Facility may be shared with Mason

By Cindi Andrews,
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        DEERFIELD TWP. — The township fire department plans to build a fourth station, this one in an area that's expected to grow to 10,000 residents in coming years.

        “We're looking ahead,” township Trustee Bill Morand said.

        Deerfield aims to build a fire station in its nort hwestern corner within two years, Mr. Morland said. The goal is to serve the area between Brewer and Tylersville roads just east of Butler-Warren Road, which is beginning to explode with upscale residential development.

        “It is by far the largest undeveloped portion of the township,” Fire Chief Bill Kramer said, noting that emergency response time there is now 9 to 12 minutes.

        “This s tation would put 90 percent of our territory within the 3-minute (rapid-response) guideline,” he said.

        Chief Kramer has talked with Mason Fire Chief Rich Fletcher about the possibility of sharing the new station, because Deerfield doesn't expect it to be busy initially and Mason has territory nearby that's not close to its own two existing stations.

        “I believe the concept of having a q uicker response in that area is a good idea,” Chief Fletcher said.

        “It would take some organized discussion from the leaders of both sides. ... The idea is in the incubation stage.”

        The Mason-Deerfield Joint Fire District split in 1998. Deerfield got the district's stations on Snider Road and Townsley Drive, and then built a third station on Kings Mills Road.

        The northwest station — Station 59 — will likely be about 6,500 square feet and cost about $1.2 million, Chief Kramer said. Additional staff will be hired to keep three to four people on duty there at all times.

        Deerfield hasn't settled on a site, he said.

        “We have several options we're looking at,” Chief Kramer said. “There is fortunately quite a bit of vacant land there, but it will evaporate as the area develops.”

        The township plans to spend extra money on design to ensure the station blends into the residential area, he said, but homeowner Regina Taylor is nonetheless worried about how it will look and whether she will be subjected to the sound of sirens at all hours.

        “I'm not concerned” about fire protection, said Ms. Taylor, the mother of two school-age children. “I'm more concerned where they would put a station in relation to our house.”


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