Volusia firefighters claim deplorable conditions at station

Rats, snakes at Volusia County fire station

VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. - They've been setting traps for weeks, but firefighters in Volusia County say they are living with rats and snakes, and the problem is only getting worse.

"They need help, they need help," said Carl Cusumano with Volusia County Professional Firefighters.

Carl Cusumano gave Local 6 photos of the conditions at the Fire Station 32 on Firehouse Road in DeLand. One shows a dead rat in a trap.

"They bring disease, and that, of course, makes firefighters sick, and then that creates overtime because they miss work because they're sick," he said.

Station 32 has been around since the 70's, and Cusumano says the building is falling apart. He says firefighters at other stations are also working in deplorable conditions.

Cusumano provided a picture of an air duct at Fire Station 13 in Ormond Beach. He says it's covered in mold.

"We're not asking for millions of dollars in raises, we're asking for the county to properly fund fire services so something like this fire station no longer has to exist," he said.

County Spokesperson David Byron says this is the first time he's hearing of rodents at Fire Station 32.

"We'll certainly take the issues that the fire union has brought forth and if there are changes that need to be made in those facilities, we'll certainly do that," he said.

The county has been in contract negotiations with the union for months, and have not yet reached an agreement.

Byron says the job of determining the level of funding is up to the county manager and council members, not the firefighters.

"We feel comfortable with the level of funding is realistic for the job firefighters have to do," he said.

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