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Bedford firefighters push for new firehousePosted: Updated:
The Bedford Fire Department has been in the same firehouse for nearly 90 years, but its team of volunteers say they have outgrown the building.
The firefighters say their 40,000-pound fire trucks can barely fit inside. Trucks are parked mere inches apart and just miss the top of the garage doors. Firefighters say that it’s because the firehouse was built when much smaller trucks were still in use.
They tell News 12 that because there is no other place to get geared up, the trucks' exhaust pipes blow gas and carcinogens right into them. They also say that because the firehouse was built when women weren't allowed to be firefighters, there's no women's bathroom - and no shower to wash off chemicals and debris.
"I personally have come back from a call with vomit in my eyelashes, and there's no shower for me here,” says Heather Feldman, of the Bedford Fire Department.
At a meeting on April 30, the residents of their district voted 651-619 against the department building a new facility. It would have come at an estimated cost of up to $17 million, or an average of $1.63 per family per day to fund.
The Bedford Fire Department hopes to reopen the conversation.
"We're proud of being volunteers. I've grown up in this town. I've been a volunteer since I was 18, as soon as I could join, and we're here to give to the community,” says Bedford Fire Department Chief Andrew Klein.
The Bedford Fire Department hopes the district will reconsider and vote in favor of the renovations before the year is up.