Some firefighters are putting themselves at risk before ever leaving the fire station.
There is mold in all three fire stations in the Northwest Rogers County Fire District, and it’s so bad they had to move Tuesday night's meeting from Station 1 in Oologah to City Hall.
There was a lot of discussion about how to handle the black mold problem that has shown up at all three stations, but what avenue the board will take is yet to be seen.
The issue came to the board’s attention when some firefighters began having breathing issues while at work.
Since the mold was found, the Northwest Rogers County Fire Prevention District has moved all their firefighters out of the stations and into temporary, fully furnished trailers that cost the department $4,500 a month in rent.
When it comes to fixing the mold problem, the board said there are several options.
If they plan to remodel or use any of the current stations they must get the mold removed, which could cost tens of thousands of dollars.
Right now, there is only one bid in for remediation – they have to have at least three to vote.
The board said once a company gets in it could take a week to clean each station.
The board also looked at possibly abandoning Station 2 - saying it has other structural and operational issues - and possibly building a Station 4 that would replace it.
"I am hoping that we get a new station out at the Talala area. That station is in pretty bad shape. Hope we get, instead of just trying to fix the problems, we start over from scratch get some new buildings," said Fire Union President James Pippin.
The board ended the meeting and decided to get more bids to remediate the mold as well as hold a building committee meeting next week to explore building a new station.
Until then, firefighters will work out of trailers where they are away from the health issues.
The next meeting will be Monday, March 20th, 2017 at 1:00 p.m.