Union Calls For Firehouse Inspection

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) The union for Pittsburgh’s firefighters is calling for an inspection of a firehouse on the city’s South Side amid health concerns.

According to our news partners at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, firefighters are concerned following the cancer-related deaths of at least nine firefighters from Engine and Truck Co. 24.

Union President Joe King sent a letter to Pittsburgh Fire Chief Darryl Jones earlier this week, demanding that an inspection be done.

Chief Jones says he will meet with King about the issue.

“The majority of these firefighters were housed out of this station for 15 plus years, so they spent the majority of their careers in this station,” Ralph Sicuro, recording secretary for the Firefighters Union, said.

Company 24 is adjacent to a police and paramedics station that Sicuro says was vacated years ago because of concerns about workplace hazards like asbestos.

In a letter to Fire Chief Darryl Jones, the Firefighters Union is asking for an inspection of the South Side Firehouse.

“My hopes are to collaborate with the local, that we can come up with a plan to establish exactly what the common denominators are along with the fact that they are all coming out of the same station,” Jones said.

Firefighters have a higher rate of cancer in general. Even with investigation, it can be hard to prove cancer is work-related, especially if they aren’t all the same type.

KDKA Health Editor Dr. Maria Simbra reports nine out of nearly 2,000 firefighters who have been stationed there over the years is actually a low number in the big picture and it could just be a statistical blip – a random occurrence that one station has more cases than others.

The cost of a cancer cluster investigation depends on what information is actually available and can vary from a few hundred dollars to hundreds of thousands of dollars and a direct cause may still never by found.

  • John

    The city moved the police out of the same building due to health concerns brought fourth by a police commander there. But somehow it was deemed safe for the fire department.

  • Sheena

    The police moved because the commander wanted a “new” station and the mayor wanted to placate a citizens group. The firefighters were relocated during the asbestos abatement, while the police were left in the station during the tearout, with no redress to their concerns about exposure and health hazards.

  • Josh

    This is not a police vs fire issue. Both unions should be upset with the lack of concern from the city.

  • Mr Soho

    Just test the place, before jumping to conclussions.

  • redrock100

    raise taxes

    • josh s

      And raise them more after that

  • Nick M 59

    This Fire station had underneath in basement a Police Firing range for the old 7 # police station located in the building. Just the fact of being exposed to all the lead fumes from rounds being fired off should be enough to be concerned about the place.

  • john

    To sheena, they moved because of many health violations on the police side but made it looked like it was for other reasons. It would of been more expensive to clean up the place then to move them. A good friend of mine works at 24 and i,m sure his chief would like a new firehouse but i,m sure they city’s not just going to give it to him. But if they do they would like one at 18th and carson.

  • The Observer

    WHY did it take the union to ask for this? If the FIRE CHIEF had been doing his job, he would have known he has a problem. Thats why these guys need a strong union…to look out after their welfare cause the city and the fire chief sure dont care. Its time for new outside blood for a fire chief!

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