Station 18 May Be Reopened Soon
Ladder truck 5 and rescue 18 received a phone call from a district chief on the morning of Saturday, June 26, 2010 to report to fire station 18 that is located on Museum Drive to move furniture and help prepare the fire station for reopening.
Fire station 18 has been closed now for about a year and a half for the needed renovation to remove the entire mold and make it a safe working place environment. Fire crews have not been told when the station will be reopened or if engine 18 and rescue 18 both will be put back on duty to make runs from fire station 18.
The fate of both these units going back on duty once the station is reopened depends on the Mayor and city council to allow for overtime to be able to fully staff these two emergency response units.
If the Mayor and the city council will not approve overtime to staff engine 18 and rescue 18 emergency units the purposed plan is to put rescue 18 and a district chief on duty at fire station 18 and leave engine 18 off duty until the city of Mobile can find the funds for overtime to place engine 18 back into service.
Fire Station 18 is just one of the three fire stations that have been closed. Fire station 20 that is located south of I-10 interstate on Dauphin Island Parkway is also closed. These two stations have been closed down due to dangerous mold that infested these two fire stations.
The third fire station that is closed is fire station 21 that is located on Stimrad Road off Telegraph road. The reason this fire station is closed is because the city of Mobile has failed to plan a sound budget to keep this station open or to pay firefighters overtime to keep this fire station manned.
With these fire stations being closed and 5 fire department units being put out of service because the Mayor and city council will not approve overtime has put an extra load on fire companies responding to calls out of their running area thus causing a longer response time to the location of the call.
This shortage of manpower and the absents of overtime for firefighters has caused firefighters to look for part time jobs to take the place of overtime pay they had been getting on their pay checks. This lack in overtime pay has also taken a toll in the number of firefighters that has left the fire department to find better paying civilian jobs.