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DIGGING DEEPER: Concerning Conditions

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TUCSON (KVOA) - In January, we took you inside a Tucson Fire Station with concerning working conditions. 

Now we’re sharing an update on the latest improvements. 

The plot of land where Station 9 once stood looks like nothing but eventually, it will be a new fire station. Its upgrades will likely save lives thanks to your help. 

Taxpayer money is paying for major rebuilds and renovations to improve firefighters' safety. 

"It's been a long time coming for this new station," Travis Sutterley, a Tucson Fire Department firefighter said. "I was a boot firefighter here back in 1998 and it needed it back then."

Station 9 was more than 50 years old and outdated conditions were exposing firefighters to diesel exhaust. So, the city bulldozed it and soon it will build another. 

The city's planning to rebuild four other stations and remodel nine. 

Those in the worst conditions are getting the most help but that doesn't mean every station will have the upgrades it needs. 

Seven stations are not getting anything. 

Why? There is not enough money. 

"We're trying to use the money that we have from Tucson Delivers, the Prop 101 money which was $75 million projected over five years," Joe Gulotta, Tucson Assistant Fire Chief said. "We're trying to stretch that as far as we can and have as many impacts for the firefighters that we could.”  

Station 9 is expected to be done this time next year. The chief said the department is working with the mayor and council to figure out how to upgrades the remaining stations.

He said it is a never-ending process. 

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Alexis Berdine

Alexis Berdine is an Investigative Multi-Media Journalist at KVOA.

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