By Ann Marie Shambaugh
The Carmel Fire Dept. kicked off National Fire Prevention Week in a big way with the grand opening of Fire Station 44.
City officials and community members gathered at the station, 5032 E. Main St., Oct. 9 for a ceremony, tours and official uncoupling of the hose. Firefighters began working out of the station in late September.
The 14,000-square-foot facility replaced the original structure, built in 1980. It is designed with the latest technology but honors tradition with an exterior design reflecting firehouses of the early 1900s. The livable areas are approximately 4,500 square feet.
The firefighters who work at the station partnered with the architect to design the facility to meet their specific needs and desires, a first in Carmel. The architect used a handwritten sketch from the firefighters when designing the exterior and referenced mock floor plans they created.
Among the firefighters’ requests was a fire pole, upstairs living areas, a large workout area and arched bay doors.
“We believe it is fitting that those who work at this station had input on how it was built,” CFD Chief David Haboush said at the grand opening.
During construction firefighters were stationed at a nearby home, and they used Mohawk Elementary School to park vehicles. This arrangement presented extra challenges as they prepared to move into the new station, CFD firefighter and spokesman Tim Griffin said.
“These guys not only moved into a station, they also moved out of a house that they have to get back into working order,” Griffin said. “They were able to do all of that while having multiple company trainings and still making runs for the community. These guys have really worked hard.”
The $3.5 million station was constructed without a tax increase. Clay Township Trustee Doug Callahan, former CFD fire chief, said that was possible in part because stations 42 and 46 were paid off last year. He also said that CFD made sure not to let anything go to waste, with the previous facility’s HVAC system, doors and other items being moved to the new maintenance/training facility, which recently opened at 106th Street and Gray Road.