COVINGTON — It’s a firehouse so small, firefighters can’t open the doors all the way.
That could be adding precious seconds to their response times.
Firefighters with West Covington’s Fire Company Two say they have outgrown their space at 1252 Parkway Ave, and the city is enlisting the help of a Cincinnati planning firm to find a new one.
Originally built in 1933, the firehouse is barely big enough to fit today’s fire engine inside, let alone have enough space for equipment or training.
“It’s an inch between the top of the ladder and the top of the garage door,” said Covington Fire Chief Mark Pierce, demonstrating how cramped the space can get.
Captain Kaleb Miller said as firefighting technology advances, the building is becoming more obsolete.
“With the newer equipment, it has gotten heavier and a little bit wider,” Miller said. “It’s made more challenges.”
Not only is the cramped space inconvenient for rescue workers, Pierce said the time they take to maneuver the space is too critical to waste during an emergency.
“It can add additional time to responses just due to the nature of the house and the size of the apparatus,” Pierce said.
To lead the effort to replace the firehouse, the City of Covington enlisted Brandstetter Carroll, Inc. to study the firehouse and select and design a new site.
The firm’s work started Friday with a tour of the building and interviews with firefighters assigned to Company 2. BCI will closely track response times and calls to be able to pick the best location for a new firehouse.
“We want to be here to provide the best service possible for our citizens, and we want to be part of the community,” Miller said.
After studying the current site for two months, BCI will spend four months selecting a new location and working on the design.