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Several Dallas fire stations don't have a working air conditioner, DFFA says

Jim McDade with Dallas Firefighters Association said fixing the AC units needs to be prioritized for the health of firefighters in Dallas.
Dallas firefighters heading into another long hot summer continue to ask that their jobs battling the heat not include the lack of sufficient air conditioning at their fire stations.

DALLAS — Between 6-8 fire stations in Dallas have air conditioning problems, according to the Dallas Fire Fighters Association (DFFA). 

Some AC units aren't working entirely, and others aren't working in portions of the stations.

Jim McDade, president of the DFFA, said this isn't the first time there's been a problem in the heat of the summer.

"We're in there for 24 hours at a time," he said. "That's our home for one-third of our lives, so wanting to be comfortable while we're there isn't too much to ask."

He said the air conditioning unit at Station 33 off West Illinois Avenue is entirely broken. For other stations, the bedrooms or front living rooms are out.

"We just want our facilities to be better taken care of. When things break, fix them in a timely manner, and maintain systems. At one station, the whole system is out and it's less than 10 years old. There should be no reason for an HVAC system to be out after 10 years, and it's going to take upwards of four to five months to fix. That's unacceptable," McDade said.

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Dallas-Fire Rescue in a statement Wednesday said the department is "working closely" with the city's building services department to address the lack of air conditioning.

"In the meantime, temporary cooling units are being utilized at all of the locations to help maintain their climates," the statement said. "We will continuously monitor the situation to ensure the members at all of the work locations are provided the most ideal living conditions."

Firefighters have 24-hour shifts at a time. They go back to the stations to rest between calls. McDade said having working air conditioners are crucial to the health and wellbeing of the city's first responders.

One portable AC unit was donated to Station 2. McDade said it would take 7-8 portable units to cool down each station, and he hopes for a permanent fix soon.