Improved training opportunities and firefighter safety will be made possible with a new addition to a fire station in Genoa Township.

Area Fire Authority is building a 10,000 square foot addition to Fire Station 34, located on Dorr Road. This expansion to the north and south sides will bring several benefits according to Fire Chief Mike O’Brian. First it will provide separate areas for clean and dirty equipment, a proactive measure to limit exposure to carcinogens following fire runs. Secondly, it will provide a new home for the Howell High School Fire Academy. Chief O’Brian says cadets will now be able to get their classroom training and then move over to the apparatus bay for experience in the fire trucks.Thirdly, the expansion will make Station 34 the second in BAFA’s jurisdiction to offer 24 hour coverage, which they began temporarily staffing for last month.

O’Brian also addressed concerns voiced by some residents about the Dorr Road location not having highway access, potentially limiting response time. O’Brian said they have had talks with the Michigan Department of Transportation about a freeway access point on Dorr Road, but that is not something MDOT is willing to grant. He said, if necessary, the Latson Road interchange is still close enough for vehicles needing east-west access.

O’Brian expects noticeable progress to start taking place on the site this month. The new addition is expected to be completed by mid-July. (JK)