Eastlake’s neighborhood fire station on E. Roanoke was busier than usual as area residents toured the facility Saturday during Neighbor Appreciation Day.
Firefighter Yonsuck Cho said there had been more visitors than usual for the event. He offered us a tour of the facility.
Sixteen firefighters are stationed at Fire Station No. 22, Cho explained. They work in teams of four, living at the station for 24 hours at a time. Fire Station 22′s service area is roughly Roy Street North, east to 24th E. and then down into Eastlake. In case of a major fire, however, the station’s crew might be deployed anywhere in the city but if you live in Eastlake and call in a fire, chances are good that it’s firefighters from Station 22 who will be responding.
The station has one engine (capable of pumping water to fight fires) and a command vehicle that can be set up as a headquarters at major events.
The station is fairly compact. There’s a watch office where on-duty firefighters monitor emergency channels and receive orders. Cho says the name “watch office” goes back to the days when firefighters would actually spend much of their time looking over the city for smoke that meant a fire needed their attention.
The station also includes an office for the commander, a small kitchen and dining area, an exercise room in the tiny basement, a tower to dry hoses out in, sleeping quarters and a lounge area with a TV. Cho noted that the firefighters used their own money to buy a new TV and that they also pay for personal internet access.
Neighbor Appreciation Day comes every February and all of the city’s fire stations are open during the event.