GREENFIELD, Wis. - A COVID-19 remodel is underway at Greenfield firehouse in an effort to keep staff safe.
Keeping firefighters healthy has been a top priority, with no visitors allowed inside. Those who live at the firehouse during their 24-hour shifts will now get private spaces in an effort to continue to keep them safe.
COVID-19 has brought changes to people's workspaces, and Greenfield firefighters are not immune. Every 24 hours, a new group of six men and women work, eat and sleep in the firehouse.
"Our challenge all along is keeping our members healthy," said Greenfield Fire Chief Jon Cohn.
Since spring, the firehouse has been closed to visitors, masks are worn inside at all times and employees are separated when they eat and when they sleep.
"We used some plastic draping and sort of created some bubbles that the firefighter/paramedics slept in, but we realized that wasn’t a long-term solution," said Chief Cohn.
The remodel includes walls to create individual rooms so that germs aren't spread as easily.
"What used to be a pretty open concept communal dorm is now being separated into six individual living spaces," said Chief Cohn. "Every firefighter will have their own, individual space when this is completed."
It's a way to make sure staff stays healthy and operations continue.
"We don’t want someone to get ill by our interactions at the station and then take that virus home to our family," said Chief Cohn. "We need to stay viable to deliver our services."
The remodel is costing about $45,000 dollars. The department is using existing money previously set aside for maintenance and repairs. The project is expected to be finished by Christmas.