Local firefighters celebrate bond for new station
firefighters celebrate bond for new station
PENDLETON, Ore. — Local fire fighters are celebrating a big win Wednesday that could keep you safer at home.
The Pendleton Fire Chief sounded the alarm on some unimaginable conditions at station number one and is excited about the new bond passing Tuesday night, granting his team of firefighters ten million dollars toward a new fire station.
“There’s multiple challenges with this facility,” Pendleton Fire Chief Mike Ciraulo said.
The current station was built in the 50’s when there were fewer calls for help, and ironically.. the building is not even up to the departments codes.
“One of the building violations that’s common, is blocking the fire extinguisher and as you can see since we have no room to put our copy machine we are in violation of our own laws,” Ciraulo added.
Crammed in a building with little room for daily operations or employees, but still doing everything they can with the space they have.
“I was fortunate enough to hire our first female firefighter paramedic, but I quickly found that we had no room to place her. So I had to convert a closet into her living quarters,” Ciraulo continued.
Female firefighter, Jaclyn Berentsen, is one of many employees being exposed to black mold and asbestos in the current work conditions, and like everyone else she is also left with little room to train.
“We’re all jeopardized a little bit by that and it’s a disadvantage because we can’t hone in on our skills,” Pendleton Fire Station #1 Firefighter, Jaclyn Berentsen said.
However, the new facility will provide the space needed to train, decrease response times by 6 to 12 seconds to the east side of town, and the bond will also supply new heart monitors and breathing tanks.
Chief Ciraulo is extremely thankful for all the community support.
“The voters really stepped up and overwhelmingly approved this and gave us a green light to move forward,” Ciraulo concluded.
Fire station officials say the building will be up and running in the next two years.