Union says some Lake County fire stations need to be replaced


LAKE COUNTY, Fla. - Some firefighters in Lake County are dealing with old and small fire stations that many said need to be replaced.

Lake County Fire Rescue Station 14 in Altoona was built in 1981 and is so small that the newer fire truck is too big to fit in it.

"This is our home away from home. We spend a third of our life here so we take a lot of pride. But there's only so much pride can fix," said Lt. Brian Gamble.

Gamble is vice president of the local firefighters union, which is calling on Lake County leaders to replace the fire station buildings that weren't meant to be lived in.

Eleven county fire stations are merely metal storage buildings and are often closed during major storms because they're not hurricane safe.

"When you get 25, 30 we even have one station that's 40-years-old. They're remodeling the stations but it only lasts for a year or two. When the stations start falling apart, they've got to replace those stations," said Gamble.

Firefighters are in line for a pay raise for the first time in years, but the county budget likely won't cover new stations or fire trucks.