New Fire Station being built on "Brown Field"

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In an article in the Roanoke Times today Todd Jackson writes about the contaminated site that was chose for a fire station because it was unfit for residential use. I have news for the City Council, citizens involved, and everyone else : Firefighters live at the fire station. I think that sums up the building actually being residential. How would you feel if you were made to live under these conditions that City Manager, City Council, and the State Department of Environmental Quality say is a contaminated “brown field” that has a buried fuel tank from a former gas station and also contains solvents and chemicals from a past dry cleaning business. I know that this is not to appealing to me, and for the next 19 years I will spend a third of my life in a fire house. That is right, firefighters spend a third of their life at the fire house. We work 56 hours a week, 52 weeks a year = 2912 hours a year or 1/3 of the year 24 hours at a time. That is residential I don’t care how you look at it. So how can the City Officials let this be? Well it seems as though they do not put very much stock in their loyal public servants. It seems as though they will close down station #1 and continue with the consolidation plan at any expense. Will it effect the firefighters? Who knows? I for one certainly do not want to find out 20 years from now that working at that station improved my chances of getting cancer. As you know firefighters are already at an increased threat of getting most common cancers. So this is GREAT news.
“So the city, as it often does in urban redevelopment projects, entered into a voluntary program with the state to prepare the site. It also agreed that the property will be used for an accepted public or commercial purpose – and not for residential development or a day care center. State and federal law provides for certain uses on so-called “brown field” sites while prohibiting uses that could pose a greater potential long-term health hazard.”

-Todd Jackson “Tainted lot good for new station” Roanoke Times, Virginia Section Tuesday, July 19, 2005.

This makes me sick, to find out this is really what Officials think of the brave men and women(firefighters) who serve the citizens and visitors of Roanoke City and are willing to risk life and limb on their behalf.

And yes Brian Wishneff I think that the administration to poll the historic station’s employees to gather their feedback on the issue.(relating to closing down station #1)

Maybe they should invest some money in getting proper exhaust fans in the station bays. I work at a station that has no exhaust fans at all. That means when we pull out of the station all of that diesel exhaust fills the station, then when we get back we get to live in it and breathe in it. So what is being done to combat that problem? Some stations have the equivalent of an attic fan or a box fan put in a window. Let me tell you, that really gets the job done.

It just goes to show you how the firefighters, who work for the #1 department in the city (voted on by the citizens), are being treated. It really makes you want to strive to be a better employee. Yet another step by the city that breeds mediocrity.

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