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Rockford Fire Department stations in need of repair, rebuild

(WIFR)
Published: Aug. 3, 2017 at 9:59 PM CDT
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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) -- They put their lives on the line everyday for our community, sometimes spending more time at the fire stations than their own homes. Some of these stations are seeing the wear and tear from decades of use.

"We've cleaned the floors and the toilet and everything it's just old. I've been at this station for 12 13 years," says Rockford Fire Lt. Kathleen Macias.

From the toilets to the showers to the roof and even the living quarters Rockford fire station 10 is just one of the many stations in need of some serious repairs.

"All of our stations were built prior to 1989 except for station 3 which was built 2016," says Rockford Fire Chief Derek Bergsten.

Built in 1957 station 10 is nearly six decades old. Lt. Kathleen Macias says her crew makes due with what they have.

"I think they would rather have a little bit more privacy you know your own space to do your down time. We stay here for 24 hours it's our second home," says Lt. Macias.

Second homes that can sometimes provide less than standard living conditions.

"When you got cold air coming through the windows water dripping down on your head when you're trying to sleep you got buckets all over the floor that's not healthy for anyone," says 5th Ward alderwoman Venita Hervey.

Station 10 like many others were built at a time when mostly men were on the department.

At 3900 square feet the station only has one shower and two small bathrooms.. and with 6 people including three women space can be tight.

"Never had a firefighter complain about the condition they are living and not once," says Hervey.

However these firefighter never let it affect their ability to do their job.

Alderman Hervey says the city is looking at putting together a schedule looking at which stations have to be rebuilt and or relocated as well as what repairs need to be made to bring some of these stations up to current modern standards.

She says the cost of rebuilding a station is estimated anywhere from $5 to $6 million.

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