Progress made on Echo Hose firehouse repairs

A month after 4th Ward Alderman Jim Capra brought a list of concerns before the city’s Public Health and Safety Commission, an extensive evaluation of the bay where the Echo Hose volunteer fire staff stores its emergency apparatus has been conducted.

According to the city’s fire chief, Francis Jones, and the director of public safety and emergency management services, Mike Maglione, the study is now “in the hands of the city.”

Maglione said he is confident that the report didn’t reveal anything bad because they still haven’t heard anything back from the city.

“If there was anything bad in the report I’m guessing that it would have been reported back to us by now,” said Maglione.

The Public Health and Safety Commission said it is hoping to receive the results of the evaluation at its April meeting.

The Board of Aldermen allocated $4,500 to seal the cracks found in the bay floor at a recent board meeting, but a date for the repairs hasn’t been scheduled.

Chief Jones said the plan is to move the fire company’s ladder truck, tower 7, back into its designated area within the firehouse when they do receive the official results of the evaluation.

First Ward Alderman Jack FInn said he thinks having the ladder truck back in its designated spot will boost the fire company’s morale.

According to Maglione, a portion of the other concerns Capra had about the firehouse have been repaired, but there are some things the company is still waiting to have fixed. As of now, the company’s staircase railing has been repaired, as well as several lights and windows.

Capra called the repairs that have been made “a step in the right direction,” and part of the Public Health and Safety Commission’s effort to make sure the city’s fire companies are taken care of properly.

Among the items that still need to be addressed are the fire company’s exhaust fan, replacement of the rear door, worn office chairs, repair of a slow-flushing toilet, and piping that needs to be anchored to a wall.

Capra said he was not happy when he contacted the mayor’s administrative assistant, Jack Bashar, and was told that there were no office chairs available for the firehouse.

Capra asked that people who are upset about the condition of firehouses in the community donate in some way because “they do deserve it.”

Maglione, Jones and Finn said departments can always use donations of furniture, supplies or money.

Capra also said he wants to start a committee to assure that all firehouses are “running well” and to keep everyone safe. Fourth Ward Alderman Noreen McGorty said she is awaiting a date to inspect the rest of the firehouses.