SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) - The Bradenton Fire Department is getting a new fire station and employees say it could save lives.
The Bradenton City Council approved a rebuild of Station 3 located on 59th Street West. Assistant Chief Tim Geer said the current 35- to 40-year-old building is beyond repair and desperately needs to be replaced.
If a hurricane hit, the firefighters would need to evacuate the current station and move to the Red Cross building next door. Another big concern is the lack of separation between the living quarters and where the gear is stored and decontaminated. Geer said this poses a significant threat to the long term health of the firefighters.
“We’ve even had employees in the past be affected by cancer, just like many other fire departments,” Assistant Chief Geer explained. "So they say the average firefighter lives about 10 years less than the general public and we’re trying to improve on that and we’re hoping to do the best we can.”
The station is estimated to cost about $2.5- to $3-million. Assistant Chief Geer said at least part of that total will be paid by the half-cent sales tax.
They plan to begin demolition in January 2020 and construction is expected to take 10 months.