Plans to Remove Harmful Exhaust Fumes from Fire Stations Moves Forward
HOUSTON- Houston Fire Chief Sam Peña’s efforts to improve the health and safety of firefighters is moving forward through the implementation of removing hazardous exhaust fumes from fire stations.
HFD leadership applied to FEMA for an Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) to begin modernizing and installing vehicle exhaust capture and removal systems in each of the city’s 94 fire stations. In July of 2018, the HFD was awarded the 2017 AFG in the amount of $703,914, with a grant match obligation of $70,391, to begin this health and safety initiative.
This week, the Houston City Council approved the use and matching funds for a federal grant intended to protect firefighters from toxic diesel exhaust emanating from fire trucks.
Through a risk-based study HFD has identified the initial 15 stations to be retrofitted through the 2017 AFG/FEMA grant. They include fire station 7, 9,16, 21, 25, 28, 31, 39, 46, 51, 56, 58, 60, 68 and 73. There are 78 fire stations that remain in need of modernization and retrofit with the standardized vehicle exhaust system. With an average cost of $80,000 per station, the retrofitting of the remaining 78 fire stations will require a capital outlay of approximately $6,240,000.
“The installation of a vehicle exhaust system in each of our 94 fire stations throughout the city is essential to creating a healthy and safe working environment for our employees. I appreciate the Mayor and the Houston City Council’s commitment and continued support of this initiative,” Sam Peña, Fire Chief.
The HFD will continue to pursue grant opportunities in forwarding its health and safety initiative with the plan to modernize 15 additional fire stations in calendar year 2019-2020.