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On September 11, 2001 two firefighters from Fort Myer watched as American Airlines Flight 77 smashed into the Pentagon just feet from the helipad and the Pentagon fire station. They went right to work. But somehow, now more than 16-years-later, our federal government still can’t get working on a permanent replacement fire station at the Pentagon.
Below are a couple of videos of live reports from 9/11 that show the Pentagon fire station and the damaged rig by the helipad.
Plans to replace a Pentagon fire station destroyed in the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks remain incomplete, with no firm timetable for completion, the News4 I-Team learned.
A replacement of the fire station, which is used by firefighters assigned to respond to emergencies at the Pentagon helipad, has long been sought by fire union officials and Pentagon leaders. But the plans have frequently stalled, and the project’s outlook remains unclear more than 15 years after the terror attack.
The Pentagon helipad fire station has been temporarily housed in a set of temporary trailers, in close proximity to the helipad, which is used by helicopters carrying military VIPs, foreign dignitaries and Marine One. It is manned by firefighters also assigned the fire station at Fort Myer. Pentagon officials acknowledge a new station is overdue and necessary, but there are disagreements between union leaders and military leaders about whether the temporary trailers are fully safe.
Mike Jackson, president of the International Association of Firefighters Local F-253, which represents the firefighters assigned to the Pentagon fire station, said the trailers are in disrepair and need to be mothballed.
“It’s a temporary facility,” Jackson said. “It’s a trailer. How safe is a trailer, really? It’s falling apart. It’s seen better days. Bathroom doors are falling off. Pieces of the ceiling are coming down.”
According to a Pentagon planning document released by the National Capital Planning Commission, “These temporary facilities, constructed after 9/11, are exhibiting various states of wear and tear.”
Pentagon officials, who agreed to give a News4 I-Team photographer access to the trailers, said the structures are sound and usable until a permanent facility is built. Sajeel Ahmed, director of facilities for the U.S. Department of Defense’s Washington Headquarters Services, said the trailers are sufficient in the interim because the firefighters are not stationed there around-the-clock.
“(The trailers) are safe. They are operational,” Ahmed said. “We are working through the process as quickly as possible. It is an important mission, and we want to make sure they have the right facilities to meet the mission.”