Saturday, June 10, 2006

City of NOLA to Firefighters: Drop Dead

WWLTV.com: New Orleans Firefighters may lose the trailers they're living in: " The firefighters at Engine House No. 12 on Franklin Avenue have been in living together in a trailer that had been supplied by the city while their living quarters were gutted. But on Thursday, the city contacted Engine House No. 12, along with four other companies living in similar situations, and informed them that their trailers were being repossessed. “They were given orders through their supervisor to pack their personal things up and get ready because the trailers were going to be picked up in about another day or so,” said Fire Chief Norman Woodrige. When Woodrige found out the trailers were being taken because of the city's missed payment to the trailer company, he said he immediately began looking for other options. “…We need to just get our manpower situation together in terms of how we're gonna situate them; where we're going to be at location wise,” he said. Two stations, Engine Houses No. 12 and No. 18, located in Lakeview, would combine with other companies, Woodrige said. But those plans concerned New Orleans Firefighters Association President Nick Felton. “If they have to move to another location, that means they are gonna increase response time. That’s unacceptable,” Felton said. Woodrige said he could not say for certain that the move would have an adverse affect on response time. “I couldn't say that until we actually get out there and make these runs and see how much time it takes us to make these runs,” Woodrige said At three of the station houses that are supposed to lose their trailers, Chief Woodrige said the firemen will be housed inside their respective buildings, but the problem facing Engine House 27 on Elysian Fields is that they don't have air conditioning. Firefighters said they haven’t had air conditioning since the storm. Huge fans blow around the warm muggy air as the firemen eat and work in between calls. Difficult working conditions made worse by the fact that a brand new donated air conditioner has been sitting in the middle of the firehouse for four months waiting to be connected. Felton said the temperature inside the engine house would top 100 degrees, and described the living conditions as being similar to sitting in a car without any air conditioning." (Via Gentilly Girl.)

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