Columbus city leaders look to establish safe rooms for firefighters
COLUMBUS, Miss. (WCBI) – When disasters strike firefighters and police are usually the first to respond. But it may come as a surprise that some may not have a safe place to ride out the storm.
Columbus city leaders are working to remedy that.
They would like to see safe rooms at each of the fire stations.
The city secured a grant from FEMA to help with costs, but the costs were based on three-year-old numbers.
Safe room prices, like nearly everything else, have gone up.
The City Council approved allowing the Chief Financial Officer to advertise for bids that would reflect current costs.
When they get those they may have to alter plans to include fewer safe rooms or look for an increase in the grant amount.
Mayor Keith Gaskin said what’s really important is the safety of the emergency workers.
“In fact, sometimes in bad weather, the only thing our guys can do right now, or ladies that are with the Fire Department, would be to get under one of the trucks or something or try to find the safest place that they can within the Fire Department. So, when weather like that is coming in, we need our first responders to be in a safe place, so they can go out and respond,” said Gaskin.
The city is also pursuing grants for larger public shelters.