Closings & Delays

New fire stations will help firefighters combat cancer

LANCASTER, Pa. -- A fire station in Lancaster will be demolished in just a few weeks.

The city is tearing down two fire stations on King Street and building new facilities in an effort to make more room and keep firefighters safe.

It's fair to say Fire Station 3 on East King Street in Lancaster is crammed.

"We have no room," explained Chief Scott Little. "We're very tight living quarters, right with the firetrucks."

Chief little says that's a problem.

"We have no ability to really isolate our dirty gear and equipment," explained Little.

"It used to be a badge of honor to see who could have the dirtiest gear and have it dirty and stinky and nasty, but the big push is to get it clean," explained Lt. Ryan Lehr.

Firefighters are at an increased risk of developing cancer as they are frequently exposed to nasty chemicals and smoke.

To combat that and give firefighters more space to train, the city plans to build two identical stations.

Both will have three floors and three zones - a hot, warm, and cold zone.

Each will have an added layer of protection for the firefighters.

"They will have decontamination rooms, a washer room for gear, everything separated," said Chief Little.

The stations will also have better workout rooms, living quarters to accommodate men and women, and more room for the fire trucks.

"We have had to redesign equipment to fit into the stations," laughed Lehr.

While it is certainly an improvement, veteran firefighters like Lt. Lehr say the demolition brings mixed emotions.

"It's going to bittersweet cause we get used to our own home, but at the same time, we need it. Things are dilapidated. They are definitely outdated," explained Lehr.

The engine bays in the new stations will be longer and there will be ample room for firetrucks.

Station 3 will officially go out of service this weekend.

Demolition on the East King station could begin in a few weeks.

After the new station is built, crews will begin tearing down the station on West King.

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