• Volusia firefighters say rats, snakes, mold are problems at their firehouses


    VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. - Firefighters in Volusia County said they have had enough and they called Channel 9 for help.

    They say they're working in deplorable conditions with rats, snakes and mold in their fire stations.

    Photos provided to Channel 9 show the conditions firefighters said they are forced to live with.

    One photo from Fire Station 32 in DeLand shows a dead rat caught in a trap.

    "This is real life evidence of what a lack of funding does, and it's going to get worse from here on out," said Carl Cusumano with the Volusia County Professional Firefighters.

    At the same DeLand fire station, firefighters said two snakes got inside the building.

    From other fire stations they had photos showing mold in an air conditioning duct, a leaky roof and a rusted roof beam.

    "These stations are old, they're decrepit, they're in need of replacement," said Cusumano.

    Firefighters claim county management has cut the fire services fund and no specific funds have been designated to replace and repair fire stations. Now, they're trying to get the attention of local leaders.

    "There's no money for fire stations, so instead of the county saying, 'This is the kind of fire department we want,' go make it happen. It's simply, 'Here's some money, go do what you can with it,'" said Cusumano.

    County officials said they weren't aware of the issues. They said they work to provide safe and humane working conditions for all of their employees. Officials also said if there are issues at the fire stations, they will look at them and consider making repairs.

    A former deputy fire chief told Channel 9 that county management did know about some of the conditions at the fire stations a few years ago.

    County officials said the county is in active contract negotiations with the fire union.

    Next Up: