Sep 13, 2013

Will Sandusky Fire Station No. 7 close?

With the upcoming completion of the west end overpass, will the Venice Road fire station be closed? Some have said the primary reason for its existence was to serve that side of the tracks. What would be the savings if this station closed? J in Milan

Sandusky fire Chief Paul Ricci provided the following response:

"There are currently no plans to close Station 7 when the grade separation is opened," Ricci said. The closure of Station No. 7 does not support the operational mission of the Sandusky Fire Department nor the needs of our community. The continued operation of this station is vital to providing efficient and effective fire and emergency medial services."

The station, however, could close based on finances, Ricci said.

"The continued operation of Station 7 is dependent on the available funding for staffing, which makes up 94 percent of the fire department budget. Closure of the station saves very little in the reduction of the line item because we must still maintain the station and staffing to meet the emergency needs of the community."

Ricci goes on to provide some background about the station and why it still is needed today.

"The operational mission of this station has changed dramatically since its opening in 1969. Opened initially as an engine company station, the station now supports the emergency medial service mission of the city with an ambulance and a fire engine.

"We run this station as a 'jump' company," Ricci added. "Depending on the type of call — fire or EMS — the three personnel respond the appropriate vehicle.  (About) 16 percent to 18 percent of all requests for emergency response occur in the district. This station also responds to emergencies throughout the city when other units are unavailable. We have experienced a growth in our elderly population, residing in this district within the last 10 years. With increased growth in the demographic, we have experienced an associated growth in the request for emergency service."

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Truth or Dare

Don't mean to be a negative nelly, but with all the crap going on now within a mile of Fire Station 7, I would hope the city understands it's importance to the entire westend community!

On that note, and this may be considered off topic, but when will something concrete be done regarding Hoppers? What's the freakin holdup on getting that area cleaned up? One can only hope that we don't get any serious strong winds in our area, otherwise we're going to find scrap metal, insulation, other hazardous debris, garbage, furniture, etc. become weapons of good old Mother Nature! No safety hazards there, eh?!

P.S. Has the SR been out there recently to do a photo shoot? This is pathetic and really must be addressed ASAP!


It will cost way too much to fix the station up, money that the city doesn't have to put into it. I think the budget will rule out. The bypass has been put in place where we don't have to have the station.


darkhorse where do you live in sandusky? i live on the westside. Even running lights and sirens it takes the squad for station 1 5 to 6 minutes to get out where i live. It takes the squad from station 3 10 minutes. So unless you want to explain to a person who lost their loved one because station 7 was closed just shut up.


Get a clue..


I would think the fire department could save a great deal of money if the dispatchers would send the appropriate stations to calls nearer to that station instead of running them all over town. I have seen and followed fire trucks from station 7 to the center of town when their are trucks still in place in the downtown station that were closer. Couldn't they somehow be dispatching the closest trucks and ambulances to the closest calls? That would save money on gas I would think???

Same with sending downtown personnel to the far reaches of the West side when they have a station IN the west side. Seems to me its a matter of logistics more than anything else.


gramafun it all depends on how the calls come in. its not unheard of to dump station 1 and then station has to cover both their area and station 1. It is the same way with station 3. It all depends on how the calls go


The dispatchers don't dispatch individual stations or trucks. This is done by the shift commander or other fire department personal. The availability of personal and/or proper equipment determines who is dispatched when a call comes in, along with who is closer.


thank you for that information. But since the shift commander or fire personnel has control, perhaps he or she could make better choices...yes? thanks again for that info.

Paul E. Ricci

Thank you for your comments. Perhaps I can clarify our operational process. The fire department does send the closest unit for fire and ems calls when that unit is available. Station #3 and #7 have two vehicles (a fire engine and an ambulance)but only three personnel. If a fire truck is needed, they take the fire engine, if an ambulance is needed, they take the ambulance. This is called "jump company" operations. This leaves one vehicle in the station thus giving the appearance that someone is in the station. Each of these stations would need 5 personnel to respond both vehicles but current finances do not allow for this additional staffing. Station #1 has a command vehicle, fire engine, an ambulance, an aerial ladder, Hazmat Unit and a reserve fire engine. To staff all of this equipment would require 14 personnel. We currently only have 7-9 personnel working on any given shift. If both the fire engine and ambulance are responding on a call, requiring all personnel, there could be three vehicles remaining at station #1, thus giving the appearance that there are units available for response but in reality, there is no additional staffing available. My shift commanders and personnel are very efficient in the utilization of resources. They work very hard in providing the best resource for the emergency need. I would like to invite you to Station #1 to demonstrate our efficiency and perhaps I can answer any additional questions you may ask. Thank you again for your comments and concerns.

Paul E. Ricci - Fire Chief


Well said old friend.


They said that 7 could close after the overpass was finnished , but Hoppers trailer park would be a good location for a new station. Chief Ricci could sell this to commishion.


akmed i agree with you on that point. It would give station 7 a better place to respond from and cover its area.