RICHMOND – The
firefighters of Station 12 risk their lives battling fires in the community
only to come home to battle a leaky toilet, mice and a mysterious black dust.
Richmond Fire Chief Robert
Creecy let 8News tour the station firefighters say is the worst in the city.
“We know that we have
some plumbing issues in the bathroom,” Creecy says.
The toilet above is actually
sinking and out of order. Downstairs, the sewer repeatedly backs up.
“As far as we know the blockage
that they found cleared out and that should take care of the problem and we are
already looking at that what would it take how much is it going to cost.”
“If this hasn't
solved the problem, the ultimate fix will be to replace the sewer line in the
Walls upstairs are
cracking and moisture is seeping through.
“That's the calcium
coming out of the mortar.”
In the kitchen, utensils
can't go in the drawers because of mouse droppings.
And that black dust the
chief says he just learned about today has firefighters worried.
“Now that we are made
aware this is a concern of the firefighters and I am aware of it. I am going to bring in the experts to tell
them how much of a problem it is.”
Chief Creecy says the city
is aware of the poor conditions inside the old fire house.
“We are devising
plans to address each one of them and all of them compete with each other for
time money and resources.”
“It takes time to
find the best solution.”
And he some he says are
already being addressed.
But the president of the Richmond
Fire Fighters Association Keith Andes says the city administration has known
about these problems for quite some time.
“An exterminator has
already been in and has begun taking steps,” he says. “This problem didn't
just arise overnight.”
He showed an independent
consultants report detailing the troubles. It was published in back in December
Andes says the real
problem is all too often work orders fall through the cracks or the work isn't
done right and no one checks up on it.
“We need a quality
control department in the city of Richmond to go behind these contractors to
make sure they are fulfilling the contract.”
As for Station 14,
firefighters told us the ceiling had been leaking there for at least a year.
“If they are not satisfied
with how the city has responded to their needs then no that's not a timely
response,” he says.
But the chief says often
there is a lot of work and planning going on behind the scenes.
“We are working on a
strategic master plan for facilities and apparatus and the future of this fire
department as we speak. It has been going on since last yea.
And he points out last
year the city opened this new state of the art fire house.
“I think this
administration has been for more responsive than previous
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