Knowing that firefighters have to protect themselves to help others, Worthington officials worried about having their 36 full-time staff working together in its single fire station.
“We were hearing about these other stations being forced to shut down elsewhere. That would decimate our fire and EMS protection if we had to close our firehouse,” said Mark Zambito, assistant fire chief.
So in a brainstorming session, he asked about the now-closed community recreation center.
With a large, now empty, parking lot, showers, a kitchen and makeshift bunk room, “everything we needed was there,” he said.
Setting up the station this week, on Highland Avenue, less than a mile from its High Street station, became urgent.
“I looked at one of my captains and said, ‘I need you to stock it in two days.’”
Capt. Chris Betts assembed beds and living quarters for three firefighters. A kitchen was stocked with supplies and food.
A craft/activity room now has three beds.