Firefighters in Adams say they can't keep going unless something change. They say their fire hall is too cramped and it's only a matter of time until someone gets hurt. They gave our Brian Dwyer a tour Thursday, hoping the controversy that surrounds a possible expansion doesn't prevent it from happening.
JEFFERSON COUNTY, N.Y. -- The Adams firefighters say back in 1940 when the fire hall was built, it was plenty big enough. But today, trucks are a bit bigger and as the department showed, they take up every inch.
"The fire trucks of the 1940s were smaller than our pickup trucks we have today. There's not enough room," Fire Department Member Bob Simpson said.
It's tight. Firefighters waiting on doors and each other to get gear on. Getting into the truck, they can't open two doors at the same time. There can be trucks starting to move with firefighters inches away. Some trucks have to be stored and worked on outside. They say it's frustrating, takes up much needed time and could be an injury waiting to happen.
"Space with doors, members coming in and being hit by the doors and also being hit by other members coming in," Department Captain Zach Cobb said.
"I will tell you that if one of our firefighters gets injured by a truck here, we're done. We're not even going to go on that call. Somebody else is going to have to come in and take over because we're going to take care of our firefighter," Simpson added.
When those trucks start or happen to have to run inside for a few minutes, there's no true diesel exhaust system to keep the exhaust out of the air because there's no room.
"OSHA recommends that. The National Fire Protection Association recommends that. There is numerous articles about 'How safe is your fire station? How much are your people breathing diesel exhaust?'"
Even getting out of the barn is tough. We saw a ladder truck, so long, it has to cross both lanes of traffic on the road and into side parking spots, nearly hitting the sidewalk.
If there's a car in those spots, the truck actually has to turn left and make a u-turn in a side parking lot to go right.
"You always want to get there fast when you have a call like that," Cobb said.
An expansion plan has been in the works for six years. What started as a $3 million project is now down to one. That was enough for the village board to decide to borrow money for it and budget the annual paybacks.
On Friday, we'll take a closer look at some of the opposition to the project's cost and what the village didn't do the night it decided to move forward. Opposition that could delay things further.