I am one member of a five person board. The opinions I express on this forum are mine only, and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of the Escambia County Staff, Administrators, Employees, or anyone else associated with Escambia County Florida. I am interested in establishing this blog as a means of additional transparency to the public, outreach to the community, and information dissemination to all who choose to look. Feedback is welcome, but because public participation is equally encouraged, appropriate language and decorum is mandatory.

Friday, February 17, 2017

Objective Facility Assessments Will Help Enable Intelligent Construction Decisions

from the discussions that ensued at last night's BCC meeting, the casual observer might think our fire station at Myrtle Grove is a shack that should be condemned....

The fact of the matter is we don't know what we don't know.  There are 8 stations the County does not own that volunteer firefighters own that have various levels of facility deficiencies.  So when the discussion last night about Myrtle Grove turned to "Let's build a brand new station, and nothing short of that will suffice"  I attempted to inject a bit of fiscal restraint, common sense, and intelligence into the issue.  First of all, the mold remediation should have happened months ago--although I understand some of the politics behind this not happening as quickly as it should have.  I'm glad the board voted 4-1 last night to go ahead and fix this mold issue expeditiously--which will allow the paid crew to return to the facility to help the volunteer crew that has still been running calls out of the station. Looking forward,  I'm going to push for standard facility condition assessments to be conducted on all of these 8 fire houses, which hopefully will lead to a ranking from worst to best, 1 to 8, which will allow rational rather than emotional decision making on which facilities need to be rebuilt first.  We should not be parochial in our facility planning and building decisions; it ought not be about what district a facility is located in, or which community wants something.  When it comes to public safety and facilities for first responders-- lets be intelligent and rational and build where we need to build and renovate where we need to renovate. 

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