Bob Deane and Grant Milliron

The Shelby Fire Department in Ohio held a dedication ceremony on November 16, 2018, to celebrate the opening of its brand-new fire station – paid for almost in full by local businessman Grant Milliron – along with department fundraising efforts.

President of Shelby, OH Local 2792 Bob Deane is pretty sure that the old station was the third-oldest fully operating fire station in the nation. If not, it was definitely the oldest station in Ohio.

Built in 1872, the Shelby Fire Department fire station had most of the problems expected in an old building. Even with dedicated maintenance, the roof continued to leak and the bottom floor would flood, leaving 5-foot water marks at its worst. The bricks were becoming soft and falling apart. “There’s only so much you can do with a place that old,” says Deane.

Grant Milliron, who owns the recycling facility down the road, has a first-hand appreciation for Shelby fire fighters after a large fire broke out in his scrap yard and took three days to put out. Milliron decided to give back to Shelby fire fighters in the form of a much-needed new station. “He is a humble, hard-working man,” says Deane. “He didn’t want to really even be recognized, but it’s such a great story. People wanted to hear more.”

The new 12,443-square-foot station is a state-of-the-art facility with features including a giant garage with hoses to limit exposure to diesel fumes and a decontamination area. Fire fighters now have room for all of the apparatus and Deane, for one, is anxious to get inside and get back to normal.

“It has been such a gift – and we can’t say thank you enough,” says Deane.

The new station officially opened December 2.