Population growing in downtown Cleveland but there's just one fire station to cover all of it

Posted at 4:47 PM, Aug 02, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-03 06:21:25-04

So many people moving downtown, there's a waiting list for apartments.

New hotels and restaurants are popping up.

The Downtown Cleveland Alliance said downtown's population has doubled from 7,000 people in 2000 to 14,000 people now. 20,000 people are expected to live downtown by 2023.

Despite that fast pace growth there's still only one fire station to cover all of downtown.

"Station one is the only fire station we have downtown, It's a problem that needs to be addressed by adding another company,” said Mike Norman with the Cleveland Firefighters Association.

Norman said the Flats is also booming with more people moving into the east bank, more apartments planned for the west bank, and yet the fire station in the flats remains closed, leaving that lone fire station downtown to cover the Flats as well.

"The city is growing and the fire department needs to grow to meet that demand,” Norman said.

Norman said the downtown fire station must also cover wrecks on the Shoreway and Dead Man's Curve. He worries the downtown fire station at East 16th Street and Superior Avenue is being stretched too thin as downtown Cleveland and surrounding neighborhoods grow and more big events draw big crowds.

"You have the success of the Cavaliers, the success of the Indians, brings a lot of big events downtown. Hotels that are going up, there is just a greater life hazard now downtown, then we have had in the past,” Norman said.

The union has raised these concerns with fire department leaders and we did too, but our calls have-not been returned. There is a fire station on East 37th, but that's not downtown and it covers mostly eastside calls. The only downtown fire station is averaging 20 runs a day including car accidents and medical emergencies.