Governor DeWine visits Troy’s Fire Station 11


TROY — Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine visited Troy’s Fire Station 11 on Friday, Oct. 14, as part of a tour of local fire stations in honor of National Fire Prevention Week.

Mayor Robin Oda greeted DeWine, who was accompanied by his grandchildren, and joined the Governor on his tour of the new station.

“We moved in here the first part of August,” Assistant Fire Chief Wade Dexter said. “We serve roughly 28,000 within the city of Troy; we also serve the townships around us which gives us another roughly 10,000 people.”

“We’re one of the largest response areas in the state,” he said. “We cover about 74-square-miles. We’re pushing about 6,000 calls per year, and we do it with a shift of 12 guys.”

Dexter also discussed the department’s apprenticeship program.

“One thing we’re really proud of is our apprenticeship program,” he said. “That’s kind of a new thing. We target those that are recently graduated from high school, those who may not know what this career is or if it’s for them or not.”

“We help them with their EMS training and their fire training, and they get basically a part-time job with us,” Dexter said. “That’s been a very good program for us, and increasing our workforce. We’ve had several of our apprentices who have gone on and been hired as full-time firefighters and paramedics.”

DeWine was in Troy as part of a larger tour of fire stations in honor of National Fire Prevention Week, Oct. 9 through 15, visiting Sidney just before heading to Station 11, and leaving for a tour in Urbana afterward. DeWine and his grandchildren also stopped at K’s Hamburgers for lunch on his way out of town.

“This station replaces our previous station across the street, it was built in the mid-60s,” Dexter said. “We did bring a little bit of that station’s history with us. We have a fire pole that was original to the Troy Fire Department when it was part of city hall.”

“When that station was built, the pole was moved over,” he said. “We carried it with us, and integrated it into this station.”

The previous fire station building is now for sale.

“It’s in process right now,” Dexter said. “The initial plan was to look at what it would take to remodel that station.”

Refurbishing the old station would have cost approximately $4.5 million.

“To come here, right now we’re at about $6.2 million total budget, with land acquisition and everything,” Dexter said. “We were able to come over here, keep the footprint, and actually move in to a brand-new facility that we’re hoping will keep us for 50 or 60 years.”

“We’re roughly 10% under budget on a five-year project,” he said. “We’re not 100% done yet; we still have one giant piece of the puzzle missing, that’s our generator for emergency power. It was ordered last July.”

During the tour, DeWine also examined the department’s new babybox.

“One of the other things about this station we’re really proud of is the babybox,” Dexter said. “That was a passion of one of our longtime firefighters, Jason Holfinger, who passed away at a young age; he presented it to the administration.”

The baby box is a climate-controlled infant crib, located inside the vestibule of Troy’s new fire station. If a new mother finds herself in the situation of being unable to care for her newborn, the Safe Haven Baby Box is a safe and secure alternative to abandoning a child “on the street.”

Once a newborn is placed in the box, signals are sent to alert Troy Fire and Miami County 911 dispatchers so the infant can be immediately cared for. The process is completely confidential. The box is available 24/7.

The box is currently being investigated by the Department of Health. Christopher Hicks, a self-described conservative, pro-life activist from Cincinnati, filed a complaint with the Ohio Department of Health shortly after the installation stating that the baby box is not on an exterior wall, which he alleges is in violation of Ohio Revised Code and Ohio Administrative Code.

“It’s been in the plans for the building ever since it was designed,” Assistant Chief Eric Krites said. “The discrepancies we are running into now are just the differences in administrative code and revised code.”

“There is a little bit of outcry,” Dexter said. “I know there are some issues going on. Today, there’s a meeting with the Health Department to address some of this.”

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