San Juan fire officers cleaning the Station house

Ten fire officers assigned to the San Juan Fire Station kicked-off a cleaning exercise on Saturday geared towards uplifting the surroundings where they work.

The exercise lead by FSO Carol Gaston, who was among the first batch of women firefighters to graduate 28 years ago, saw officers powerwashing the front of the station, sweeping the yard, cleaning the drains and the windows.

“We live in this compound for nine hours and 15 hours at a time…so if we’re going to live here why not have it to standard,” FSO Gaston said. Gaston said the pandemic pushed them to start the initiative as soon as possible, one which according to her will continue in the coming weeks.

But it wasn’t just COVID-19 that caused the officers to take action, FSO Gaston revealed that because the station is situated directly in the hub of the landmark Croissee in San Juan, pollution and nearby rodent infestations also cause health concerns.

“We’re going to being doing some painting and some maintenance of the appliance with different shifts handling different areas in the overall improvement in the health and safety of the station,” she explained.

Some of the firefighters used their personal equipment and even came out on their off day to get the job done.

FSO Gaston said it’s the kind of teamwork she encourages at the San Juan Fire Station.

And while she admitted that there was plenty more work to do, FSO Gaston thanked the officers for their cooperation.

“That is the sacrifice people would make because they are part of the team,” she said.

She encouraged others to follow her lead and clean up their surroundings.

“It isn’t picture-perfect, but it is a step in the right direction,” FSO Gaston said.