The president of the Culver City Fire Fighters has asked the city to include Fire Station No. 1 in plans to tear down and replace its aging city hall next door.
Rick Siler, head of the union representing the city's 66 firefighters, said in an interview that the 59-year-old station should be demolished and rebuilt because it is not earthquake-safe and does not provide sufficient ventilation for fire engine diesel fumes.
Siler said he sent a letter to council members April 3 after he found out about plans to replace City Hall but not the fire station.
Dale Jones, the city's chief administrative officer, said that the city intends to replace the station, but does not know when or where. He said, however, that the new location must not affect firefighters' response time.
Fire Station No. 1 was built on Culver Boulevard next to City Hall in 1927 of unreinforced concrete masonry. In March, the city's insurers dropped earthquake coverage for both buildings.
One of three fire stations, No. 1 is manned by seven firefighters 24 hours a day and includes an engine company, a paramedic unit and a battalion chief.
Siler said that the station has had problems with diesel fumes since the city converted to diesel from gasoline-burning engines years ago. Although the problem plagues most fire stations, it could be reduced with floor ventilators that draw the emissions out of the station. Fire Station No. 2 has such a system, he said.
Siler said, however, that he would miss a few things at the old station.
"It has a lot of character," he said. "Its wooden doors are classics. Those aren't things you'd see on a new one. And it has poles you can slide down" close to its engines.