The Fire Department of the City of Shaker Heights, Ohio has the distinction of being the first fire department in the State of Ohio to be accredited by the Commission on Fire Accreditation International. And, since 2003, that Fire Department has had a fine new Fire House at 17000 Chagrin Boulevard, in the heart of the city’s commercial district between Lee Road and Avalon Road. (The city also operates Station Two at 2801 Warrensville Center Road.) The Fire House has thus set the tone for the planned revitalization of the Chagrin Boulevard commercial corridor called for in the city’s Strategic Investment Plan of 2000.
Fire services are provided by The Shaker Heights Fire Fighters Association, a group of almost 60 professionals organized as the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF), Local 516. The IAFF represents close to 300,000 fire professionals nationwide, who protect almost 7/8ths of the entire U.S. population.
Despite the city’s investment in the new Fire House on Chagrin, the Fire Department (like most other municipal agencies and safety forces across the country) has been under severe cost-containment pressure in recent years. In fact, in 2009, Shaker Heights’ Fire Chief was fired by the Mayor for refusing to take drastic enough action to control the Departmental budget.
The City of Shaker Heights Fire House was completed in 2003, based on an architectural design by the local Cleveland firm of Collins Gordon Bostwick (now Bostwick Design Partnership). Its postmodern design incorporates some traditional elements — classic red brick, stone sill walls and detailing, façade banding and detailing — with the decidedly hipper contemporary features of reflective metal wall panel tiling, crisply geometric window wall and articulated building massing.