What to Do
Find a Business
Find a Deal
Add an Event
Submit News
Promote my Business

Plans for north end fire station move forward

The new Dover Fire Department substation will be located on the north end of town across the street from Buehler's.


The Dover Fire Department will get a new substation on the north side of town after 20 years of planning.
Fire Chief Russ Volkert said, “The design process is about 99 percent complete.”
The city has already acquired a lot on Dublin Drive and has drawn up plans. Volkert said city council moved to begin the bidding process at their first March meeting.
“Starting about 20 years ago, we noticed we would have a need,” he said.
Officials have been watching trends relating to calls over the past two decades and made the decision based on several factors. They have noticed an increase in the number of calls north of 15th Street and also have seen and increase in back-to-back calls.
Back-to-back calls are described as when one call comes in that firefighters respond to and then another call comes before the team has returned. A big reason for the new substation is so that the Dover Fire Department can have enough members on staff at all times to handle back-to-back calls.
According to Volkert, the City of Dover began putting money aside for the project about five years ago. Council is expected to allow $1.3 million to be used for the project.  
Voters approved a new property tax levy in March 2016 that will pay for the additional firefighters. The 4.0-mill levy is the first increase Dover residents have had since 1976.
Volkert said the levy passed in 1976 was actually a renewal of an earlier levy from 1970. The new tax is expected to more than triple the revenue from the old one.
Of voters approving the increase, Volkert said, “It has allowed us to add more staff."
In addition to the increase in the firefighting staff, the Dover Police Department has been able to hire an additional officer and detective.
A construction period of eight or nine months is expected for the new building.
“Optimistically I’d like to say we’d be able to occupy [the new substation] by the end of the year,” Volkert said. But he pointed out it will most likely be early next year.  
The department added three firefighters in 2017 and is expected to hire three more soon. Potential candidates were tested in late February.
Aside from the new staff, the substation will be equipped with a 1992 fire truck currently being stored at the Dover Township garage. They also will move an ambulance from the existing fire station to the new location. The ambulance bay will be funded by revenue collected from the ambulance service.
The fire department received 2,200 calls in 2017, according to Volkert. That is an increase of 168 from the year before. Volkert said this is a larger-than-usual increase over one year. In 1998 when the building was first being proposed, they received 1,510 calls. About 70 percent of those calls are for paramedics.
“We’re going to see additional needs and development,” Volkert said. “This puts us in a good position going into the future.”
According to World Population Review, the last official estimate of Dover’s population puts the number at 12,843. It has increased from 12,210 in 2000 and 12,826 in 2010. Since the last national census, the population has increased about 0.06 percent.
The fire department is planning to hold an open house in October during Fire Prevention Week. The new substation is not expected to be complete by that time, but Volkert expects there will be a ceremony at the new station when it opens.

Published: March 9, 2018
New Article ID: 2018180309969