Cleveland City Council passed a resolution to rename Fire Station No. 36 George L. Forbes Fire Station during their meeting Monday, May 2. The 15,644 square-foot station located on East 131st St. is a multi-million dollar state of the art complex.
All 14 council members present voted yes to honor a political icon for all his service to the city of Cleveland. From 1974 to 1989, Forbes served as one of the most powerful presidents of Cleveland City Council. He is the former President of the Cleveland NAACP and is semi-retired from practicing law.
This station is the first station to be built in 25 years in Cleveland and needed badly for the neighborhood. “I worked very hard to convince us to build a new fire station for the brave men and women of our safety forces and this will be the first new fire station built in Cleveland in decades,” said Ward 2 Councilman Zack Reed. “Mr. Forbes has made a mark on this city, he deserves many honors, but glad council passed the resolution. A lot of us grew up watching and learning from him.” There is a camp named after Forbes on 25440 Harvard Ave., but not in the city of Cleveland.
“I wanted to have something named after him, there is nothing in the City of Cleveland named after this great man, and I am hoping this is the first of many things that will be named after him in his honor,” said Reed.
Reed shared that he wanted to name this one because EMS will be in this station with the firefighters and told the paper that Forbes and Mary Zone helped launch EMS while they were in Cleveland City Council together.
“I am both honored and pleased they have thought enough of me to name this new fire station after me,” said Forbes. “I have a new found respect for fire fighters who risk their lives every day saving people and houses.”
Forbes knows firsthand about the gratitude of having fire fighters after a fire destroyed part of his house in Oct. of 2014 that took 32 firefighters about 2 1/2 hours to put out the inferno. An estimated $130,000 worth of damage was caused to the home.
“These fire fighters were excellent and did an outstanding job while at my house,” said Forbes. Councilman Reed has been spearheading this effort for years, not only for it to be named after a great man, but to get rid of one of the oldest fire stations around. “I believe in new development and have often put my efforts into saving the neighborhoods,” said Reed.
Reed who serves the Mt. Pleasant area has been striving to make it an area for the community, wanting to develop the old Alexander Hamilton Junior High School land and built a new library and other buildings that could be used for the neighborhood’s enrichment.
The fire station will open on Saturday, May 14.