As part of its response to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, the Plain Township Fire Department has opened a substation at the New Albany-Plain Local School District bus garage facility 1 mile north of the fire station.

Township administrator Ben Collins said part of the pandemic-response protocol is to separate personnel so they are not all subject to an exposure.

Because the township has one fire station at 9500 Johnstown Road, it required a second location for personnel, Collins said.

The school district has been closed since mid-March as part of a state order to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus in Ohio.

Other local fire departments with single stations, such as in the city of Worthington and Truro Township, have done the same thing, Collins said.

Collins said March 30 was the first day the department was operating out of the substation at 10160 Johnstown Road. An engine, a medic unit and a four-man crew composed of a lieutenant and three firefighters are stationed there, he said.

New Albany-Plain Local Superintendent Michael Sawyers said the district is proud to support the fire department in its proactive preparedness for the coronavirus pandemic.

“Using the transportation center as a second fire substation permits our first responders to divide into separate teams and reduce the potential risk of spreading the coronavirus among our safety forces,” Sawyers said. “It takes an entire community to battle this virus, and we all must do our part when asked.”