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Atlanta firefighter training facility closed due to mold concerns

The city’s fire union said the facility has had a mold problem for years, causing serious health side effects for trainees

By Laura French

ATLANTA — Atlanta Fire Rescue has indefinitely shut down its firefighter training facility as it investigates potential mold exposure that has reportedly been sickening recruits.

Officials from Atlanta’s fire union said mold exposure has been a problem at the facility for years and that recruits have experienced respiratory problems as a result, according to 11Alive.

Atlanta Professional Firefighters Local 134 President Paul Gerdis said the union is glad the fire chief is finally taking action on trainees’ complaints, but hopes the problem will lead the city to build a new, state-of-the art training facility, noting that much of the department’s training is performed at other facilities outside of the city.

Atlanta Fire Department Spokesman Sgt. Cortez Stafford said consultants are being brought in to test the air quality at the center and that it was vacated as a precaution after numerous health complaints.