DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – As some Dallas fire stations continue to fall apart, residents are taking matters into their own hands by helping to pay for improvements from their own pocketbooks.
One 40-year-old Dallas fire station in question had to close its doors for several days in April after inspectors found asbestos in the floor. Sources tell CBS 11 that this station is just one of many that need a major overhaul.
Former Dallas firefighter Sherrie Wilson says when you look closely inside some older fire stations, a state of disrepair can be found.
“It’s literally falling apart. You walk in the door and you look up, there’s mold growing in the ceiling,” said Wilson. “All the station are in a poor state of affair.”
At other stations in Dallas, HVAC, plumbing and roofing issues plague the buildings.
At the 40-year-old fire station, neighbors pooled $1,000 through a GoFundMe account to improve conditions. This station is one of 19 Dallas fire stations that are more than a half-century old.
“We learned of other needs at the fire station, such as the commercial coffee maker, the outside patio cover had been damaged by wind and pieces were missing,” said Patrick Travers.
Travers believes the community should contribute to its local fire stations, but he also wishes the city could do more.
In October 2016, Dallas Fire-Rescue asked for $220 million for new and replacement fire stations. The current billion-dollar bond proposal allocate around $25 million for the fire department with around two million being used for maintenance and renovations.
The Dallas Firefighters Association president says the money set aside is not enough. Both he and Wilson say they hope the city will find more funds to give fire stations the improvements they need.
“This ship has been sinking for years,” said Wilson. “It’s heartbreaking.”
A city spokesperson says the current bond proposal includes building one new fire stations, replacing two others and performing maintenance or renovations at dozens more. The president of the Dallas Firefighters Association says he believes the money is being spent the wrong way.