Donalsonville Fire Station Deteriorates

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The city of Donalsonville is weighing its options on how it will deal with mold and asbestos problems at its fire station.

On-duty firefighters have been moved from the sleeping quarters above the firetruck bays and into a camper behind the station.

"The chief has worked to limit the movement of firefighters and address issue in the sleeping quarters until we can re-mediate those or construct something else," says city manager Darrell Hampton.

According to a February report from Augusta-based Alternative Construction & Environmental Solutions, elevated carbon monoxide levels in the station showed that exhaust fumes were not effectively being ventilated out of the building.

The survey also found visible evidence of mold growth on surfaces inside the station, including discolored ceiling tiles and walls. Mold spores were also found in the dining area and sleeping area, as well as the training room.

Levels for these spores are considered too high for an indoor area.

Photos from an analysis by EMLab P&K show a large hole at the station's downstairs entrance, as well as holes in the office and near the dining area.

City leaders say there is little funding to build a new fire station, though one has been on the city's wish list for several years.

The firefighters, the chiefs are an integral part of the city," says Hampton. "They protect the lives of those here. If they're not safe and well rested, they're impaired and in harm's way. We risk the lives of the people we're here to serve."

According to Hampton, fire chief Travis Brooks is currently developing a plan to submit to Mayor Dan Ponder. There will be discussion of the issues at a retreat at the end of May.

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