Colerain Fire Co. unveils new home

THE COLERAIN Volunteer Fire Company unveiled its new digs Sunday. And what impressive digs they are.

A nice-sized crowd turned out on a sun-drenched afternoon to get a first-hand look of the gorgeous hilltop facility. The 60-x-64 foot structure provides the 25 fire company members with a state-of-the-art home.

In addition to space to park its five vehicles under cover, the building has a kitchen, bathrooms, shower, utility room, lounge and office. It was constructed by H & H Costum Homes. The Loudonville-based company commenced work in November and finished in April.

“The project came in under budget. We were able to raise the money by selling land that was turned into Dollar General as well as leasing some mineral rights while also selling our old facility,” said Fire Company Chief Greg Probst. “We have a lot of good people who helped make this possible. When we bought the (Hilltop) school, this was our vision several years ago.”

The company was in need of its new headquarters, as the old facility had become antiquated. The fire company boasts a coverage area of between 22 to 28 miles and responds to some 400 fire and emergency calls a year.

State Rep. Jack Cera was one of those in attendance. The Bellaire native presented Probst a state flag as well as resolution from the Ohio Legislature.

Frank Conway, of the state fire marshal’s office, was also at the celebration, extending congratulations on behalf of Gov. John Kasich. He was joined by Dave Whiting, a Colerain native, who is now assistant chief with the Columbus Fire Department.

Also recognized was Dorris Morrison. The 99-year-old’s late husband, David, was Colerain’s first-ever fire chief.

With all community-based fire organizations, money issues never go away. The Colerain unit is a company rather than a department as it is incorporated.

“Such a designation gives us greater control of operations, but it hurts us when it comes to getting grant funding,” Probst said. “We hold fundraisers year-round and we get a lot of use out of the school with auctions and other events. We are also thankful that a fire levy has been supported over the years by our residents.”

While Probst is the chief, he is joined in directing the company by the following slate of officers: Kenny Morrison, president; Ty Wilson, vice president; Emily Carlier, secretary; Bob Finney, treasurer and trustee; Michael Perry, trustee and Jeanette Mertz, trustee.

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