Mount Vernon’s fire union calls on city to make repairs to firehouses

Mount Vernon's fire department union is calling out city leadership for deplorable conditions at firehouses.

Nadia Galindo

Jul 21, 2022, 9:46 PM

Updated 673 days ago

Share:

Mount Vernon's fire department union is calling out city leadership for deplorable conditions at firehouses.
"Now the rain is running through the buildings as if it’s raining inside," said Ernie Richardson, second vice president of firefighter union, Local 107.
Richardson said the roof is leaking at each of the city’s firehouses, creating mold and putting first responders health and safety at risk.
"We have to be OK to keep the public safe. If we are not OK, we can’t do our jobs," said Richardson.
He said there is also a rat infestation and lack of air conditioning in common areas at the cities temporary firehouse on South West Street.
"These are all these problems created by negligence," said Richardson.
Mayor Shawyn Patterson-Howard said she is aware of the issues at the firehouses, saying its a systemic problem happening at all of the cities buildings.
"The city owns over 10 buildings, and every single building it rains," she said.
The mayor shared a video of the roof leaking at a Department of Public Works building.
She said the city ordered engineer studies on all city-owned buildings last October.
Some draft reports are already in and show repairs will be costly.
For example, the cost to repair Firehouse 4, which was condemned by the city nearly a year ago, is $5.6 million.
"When you have decades, inherited decades of no maintenance and no investment in the capital structures of our municipal buildings, this is what we are dealing with," Patterson-Howard said.
City leaders are formulating a plan to address chronic issues at city buildings, but Richardson questions how long it will take.
"She is right. All these buildings have issues, but we should be a priority because we live in these buildings 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. Our buildings never close," he said.


More from News 12