Battalion Chief Jerry Moore says building a new fire station is much like building a new house: It's hard to decide when the construction phase is done and the never-ending maintenance phase begins.

Battalion Chief Jerry Moore says building a new fire station is much like building a new house: It's hard to decide when the construction phase is done and the never-ending maintenance phase begins.

"I think there's an end in sight (to the construction)," Moore said, shortly after returning to the new Reed Road fire station from an injury auto accident run.

"It used to be for every item we took off the punch list we added two," he said. "Now it's flipped; for every two we take off we add one. We're getting there. Most of the stuff that's left is fairly minor, cosmetic."

At the new station, the fire division shares some of its space with the division of police.

What is completed includes some of the best training facilities available, a wish list including a new pistol range for the police, a workout facility for physical training, a classroom facility that allows for recording of training sessions and plenty of space not only for Upper Arlington's safety employees, but also emergency staff from governmental entities all around central Ohio.

"We train with Grandview Heights, we also work with Riverside Hospital and OSU hospital to do once a month nightly trainings," said Captain Lyn Nofziger, who's in charge of EMS and firefighter training. "They bring instructors in, nurses, to do continuing education.

"We open that up, not to the general public but to the general EMS, fire community," Nofziger said. "Last month we had someone from Delaware come down to attend our class."

While Moore spoke, at the same time he was listening to a continual chatter over the station's public address system, registering the details of an auto accident to which Moore and several EMS and safety units responded. When questioned, he could recite the entire history of the run, including what other jurisdictions responded, what units were called and when those units were canceled and returned to their stations.

As the person responsible for training everything from firefighting to EMS response to hazmat and infectious disease, Nofziger most values being able to train under realistic conditions.

"The concept I want set up in this room, when the crews come in, I want them to train as if they are out on the street. They're going to put their gloves on," Nofziger said. "I've purchased fake medications, saline solutions, and a kit set-up, so when they're giving a medication, they'll actually administer it. That concept is, people do what they train to do."

The Reed Road fire house was built for training, with a special stairway tower that can be sealed and filled with smoke, drenched with water and drained without damage to the building. It allows firefighters to train in high-rise and heavy duty commercial building conditions.

"You connect into that, stretch your hoses, and this (training tower) is designed for us not to worry about it if it gets wet," Moore said. "Most public buildings have suppression systems. They're designed for us to connect to and pull hoses. You connect into that, stretch your hoses. Water can cascade down and go out the floor."

The building also contains multiple false windows, safe rappelling hooks and zip lines, and even facilities for confined space training, such as false manholes in the parking lot.

"The fire department gets called for everything," Nofziger said. "A water leak, a propane emergency, somebody's fallen and they need assistance. A cardiac arrest. We love helping everybody out, we love using the skills we're trained to use."

The station also houses the service coordinator for Stay UA, a program to promote the ability of older residents to stay in their homes as long as practicable. While not a firefighter, the Stay UA coordinator works with emergency responders to try to identify residents who could benefit from programs offered by various agencies whose services can help them remain largely independent.

"As emergency responders, we don't have a lot of face-to-face time to spend," Nofziger said. "You know how you go to certain residents, they want to know you before they start giving you information, have a cup of coffee. Our service coordinator can do this.

"A lot of time what happens is services don't coordinate with each other or talk to each other," he said. "That's what a service coordinator does -- gets in contact with the services and then steps back, monitors what is going on, then they'll move on to the next need."

The station also includes a physical fitness center that Moore says would not have been used 20 years ago, but is used extensively today.

"Everybody says this (physical training space) is so big, but keep in mind, there are nine firefighters, plus three 40-hour firefighters, plus the police all have access to it," Moore said. "And they use it. It's rare there are not one or two people in here.

"The size comes from the high-use periods, usually in the morning. During those times you can have a dozen people in here. We have exercise programs that are individualized now."

That's different from when he was hired, Moore said.

"I bet we get a phone call a year from somebody wanting to donate a pool table to us," he said. "We did have them. When I got hired in 1987 we had them. But we haven't had a pool table in 20 years."

For now, Moore -- and, he recognizes, the contractors too -- would like to finish the punch list and return to normal duties. For him, that will include regular maintenance.

"I've got a building I'm responsible for in south Arlington that's 20 years old from the renovation," he said. "There's stuff wrong with it every week, just like your house."

All of it, though, is in the service of runs.

"That's what I was hired to do," Moore said.