ROUND ROCK, Texas (FOX 7 Austin) - The City of Round Rock is responding after multiple firefighters reported being sick from moldy working conditions at Station 1.
"The City of Round Rock takes firefighter safety seriously. That’s why the City acted quickly and responsibly when notified of potential air quality issues at Central Station. Mold remediation was completed in April, and subsequent tests by qualified air quality specialists show the remediation was successful.
The City encouraged firefighters and other employees at Central Station to submit workers’ compensation claims, and there is an appeal process available to anyone who believes they were wrongly denied. We are unable to provide any details beyond that due to HIPAA laws.”
The Round Rock Association of Profession Firefighters Executive Board responded:
We question the Fire Chief for not taking firefighter’s safety seriously and allowing this to go on since February 23, 2018. According to Chief Isbell only 2 rooms and a closet were affected by mold. If that is the case, then why has the entire East side of the building had the sheetrock removed 14” up from the floor, exposing mold on the outside insulation board. This mold is still currently exposed to the inside of the station. The only reason this was addressed, is because numerous firefighters were becoming sick due too high levels of mold exposure. Chief Isbell stated in his interview that his hands are tied, and it is a Workmans’ Comp issue.
The failure of the Fire Chief to follow through with the original complaint has led to the current issues being faced by the crews at Central Fire Station. Where is the accountability in all of this? Who is accountable to the people who protect the citizens of Round Rock? These are the questions the we should be asking. Tell us why the Fire Chief continues to let this go on. Unfortunately, the Round Rock taxpayer will continue to have their tax dollars wasted on a building that should be demolished while their firefighter’s medical bills continue to stack up. Due to the current situation and how it is being handled this is not a “bright day”. Chief Isbell, unfortunately, is losing credibility with the firefighters.
The president of the Round Rock Association of Professional Firefighters says the majority of the firefighters at Station 1 have been having health issues related to mold exposure. Some have reported multiple sinus infections, bronchitis and, even pneumonia.