Upper Arlington News

Fire Division headquarters relocates to Reed Road

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The Upper Arlington Fire Division has relocated its headquarters from the city's Municipal Services Center at 3600 Tremont Road to Fire Station 72 at 3861 Reed Road.

The last of the department's personnel made the move on Dec. 7.

Offices for Fire Chief Jeff Young, Public Information Officer Dan Kochensparger, the chief's management assistant, four members of the division's fire prevention bureau and a contracted public education coordinator also have been relocated to Station 72.

"In all, it's seven full-time personnel and one contracted employee," Kochensparger said. "It was mostly administrative personnel."

The telephone number for the fire division's headquarters will remain 614-583-5100.

Station 72's number will continue to be 614-583-5472.

Kochensparger said the move centralizes fire operations and also places Young and other administrators closer to most of the division's firefighters.

The division also operates from Station 71 at 2095 Arlington Ave., but that facility typically staffs a smaller number of on-duty firefighters who respond to fire and emergency calls on the city's south side.

Kochensparger added that more stringent building and zoning restrictions exist in the area encompassing Station 71, making it a less logical location for the division's headquarters should future expansion be needed.

"There aren't any free spaces set up at that station (71)," he said.

Station 72 encompasses approximately 32,000 square feet and was the winner of Fire Chief magazine's "Station Style Design Award" in 2010. It was lauded for having its fire and emergency response facilities combined with other agencies or organizations, such as Upper Arlington police and local government offices.

Prior to the relocation, Kochensparger said, the UAFD might have been the only fire department in the nation in which administrative offices weren't located in a fire station or a facility connected to a fire station.

"We really couldn't come up with any other than us," he said. "It is not natural for people to think to go to City Hall when they need to go to a fire building for business."

A professional moving company was hired to assist with the relocation at a cost of approximately $1,500, Kochensparger said. He added that a wall soon will be constructed at Station 72 to provide Young with a separate, designated office space, but the total cost of that project and the relocation should be less than $10,000.

Future modifications, such as construction of a customer desk and window, might be made at Station 72, as well, but those plans haven't been finalized, Kochensparger said.

"We're looking to make it a little bit more user-friendly," he said.

The UAFD headquarters relocation allowed the Upper Arlington Police Division to move its support services bureau, a community relations officer, a DARE officer and an administrative assistant from the first floor of Station 72 to the Municipal Services Center.

"The one advantage for us is it does allow more of our police personnel to be staffed in one building," said Police Lt. Ernie Ankrom, who leads the division's support services bureau.

The UA Police Division will continue to maintain training facilities in the basement of Station 72. These include an indoor firing range, a training classroom, a self-defense tactics training room and a storage area for support services documents.

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