Reporting Meghan McCorkell
GALESVILLE, Md. (WJZ)– Unlivable conditions at Anne Arundel County fire stations. Contaminated well water, and now mold growing inside. And firefighters want the county to do something about it.
Meghan McCorkell has more on the conditions fire crews are facing.
Those firefighters say they want their aging firehouse fixed. Some say the conditions inside are dangerous to their health.
They rush to save lives everyday. Now, firefighters in Galesville say they need a lifeline of their own.
“These people got to work here,” said Nathaniel Scott of the Galesville Fire Department.
Mold is growing inside the ventilation ducts of the firehouse.
“You can see where it’s leaking through the ceiling tiles,” said Craig Oldenshaw, the Fire Union president.
The county health department says it shouldn’t cause health risks, but…
“We have some members who have come down with respiratory ailments because they believe of the current mold situation,” Oldenshaw said.
The firehouse well water also tested positive for contaminants this week– something they say happens pretty often.
“Here lately it seems that every time they test it, it fails,” Scott said.
With the failed well test, the firefighters can’t even use the bathroom. Instead, they have to come outside and use a portable facility.
“We have porta potties delivered,” said Div. Chief Michael Cox of the Anne Arundel Co. Fire Department. “We will have plastic wares, plastic utilities things of that nature delivered to the fire station.”
Anne Arundel County fire officials are trying to fix the problems. But it could be awhile.
“We have gotten bids for mold abatement,” Cox said. ”No contracts have been awarded for that yet, but it’s underway.”
Fire union officials say the conditions are not acceptable.
“Prisoners in Jennifer Road don’t have to go outside and use a port a potty, don’t have to wash their hands at a wash station,” Oldenshaw said. “They’re treated a little bit better.”
The fire union has asked that firefighters be moved to nearby station houses until the building is fixed. The fire chief is concerned that would impact public safety.
Anne Arundel County officials have brought in a hand washing station and bottled water. They hope to have the water facilities back up and running by the end of the week.