Cleveland’s fire stations will be remodeled to accommodate female fire personnel, under legislation passed by Council at its recent meeting (4/5). The upgrades, expected to be done by 2025, would provide for separate sleeping quarters, bathroom facilities and showers.
Cleveland’s fire department historically has had very few women. As of 2019, there were just three, with two nearing retirement. One woman is in the department now among more than 700 fire personnel.
As a pilot project, Fire Station 11 has been outfitted with walls and doors to convert the sleeping area into individual rooms.
Six stations will be addressed – at an estimated cost of $85,000 — in the renovations that are expected to begin this year. A larger phase will follow at 16 fire houses. That work, which will be more extensive, is expected to cost about $745,000.
Different stations require different levels of intervention. Some are very simple – adding a door or some signage, things like that. Others will be more involved and require new plumbing fixtures and so forth.
The effort to make the fire stations more accommodating is necessary as Cleveland seeks to recruit more women to the fire department.