Gov. Lamont announces funding for new Hamden fire station
HAMDEN, CT (WFSB) - Governor Lamont announced a new state of the art fire house in Hamden Tuesday.
The firefighters desperately need it.
The current fire station is more than 100 years old.
Firefighters have been working and sometimes living out of the station since 1915.
Now it’s broken beyond repair, with water damage, and potentially mold and asbestos, according to first responders.
It’s time for a big upgrade.
The state is giving the fire department the money to do it.
Not the brave first responders, but the building they work, train and sleep in.
“Renovating it doesn’t make any sense anymore. And the need is there,” said Hamden Fire Chief Gary Merwede.
What firefighters are showing Eyewitness News will shock you.
Over time there has been plenty of water damage, walls ruined, ceilings destroyed, plus mold and maybe even asbestos.
The top floor used to be social club, but it’s all just been left for years. Garbage and pieces of the ceiling are everywhere.
“The conditions are not what our firefighters should be in,” said Hamden mayor Lauren Garrett.
But they have been for decades.
Firefighters will sleep there eight times a month.
It’s tight in the bunk room, and only 30 feet from the fire engines.
“The benzyne and the things coming off from diesel fuel are carcinogens and can adversely affect you over time,” said Merwede.
The training facility, according to firefighters, is inadequate.
Captain Kevin Martin said the building won a statewide competition as the worst in Connecticut.
Lamont announced around $8.5 million dollars in state funding to give Hamden a brand-new facility.
Better training rooms, bunk rooms, and a much better gym.
The hope is that the project will take three to five years before firefighters can use it.
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