VENICE, FL - With a major storm on the way first responders on the island of Venice will evacuate. This week city leaders got an update on the condition of the only fire station on the island which is about to turn 40-years old. They know they have a problem but unfortunately for taxpayers the fix doesn't come cheap.
Fire officials say the first issue is the building is too small for the amount of activity being done at the site. Cramped quarters with the bays full of city vehicles and the county ambulance.
The second issue is perhaps more serious. Station 1 isn't up to code for wind or water intrusion. They now say a major storm or even a flooding event could cause havoc on how they operate before, during, and after.
Fire Chief Jim Warman says it's likely this station would be closed. "We would have to evacuate this state to another one and operate from there. Removing personnel from the island definitely creates some longer response times for us."
Residents like Clara Zaccardelli say it's concerning. "It does make me nervous because I want someone to be here to protect all of us."
FEMA has a plan which could pay up to 75% of the costs to relocate or renovate a fire station. Something the city is looking into. We will have the latest coming up tonight on ABC 7.