Broken AC causes sweltering conditions at local safety complex - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Broken AC causes sweltering conditions at Chicopee fire and police stations

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CHICOPEE, MA (WSHM) -

The air conditioning at the Public Safety Complex in Chicopee has been broken for weeks. And, as day six of the heat wave here in Western Mass comes to a close, officials are speaking out about how difficult it has been to work under those conditions.

"It is almost impossible to work in there, we've sent folks home on a couple of days," said Chicopee Mayor Michael Bissonnette.

AC has long been a problem at the station. But temperatures well into the 90s inside of the buildings has made it quite difficult for police and fire officials to get work done.

"If it wasn't anything other than public safety we would have shut the building down," said Bissonnette.

"It's an extremely old unit, the issues were never addressed from our previous administration. Our new chief realized it was an issue and has a new unit on order. He is doing everything he possibly can to get the units in working condition," said Captain Jeffry Gawron.

Bissonnette says a new $360,000 unit has been ordered but that it won't be installed until the fall. In the mean time the city ordered new compressors and workers have been installing them for days. But the mayor says it did take some time to get the right parts.

"Obviously there's no real fast solution to replacing the compressor for a product that's not even sold on the market anymore," said Bissonnette.

One of the workers explains that completing the installation in this heat has been a daunting task.

"It's really tough," said B-J Mechanical Service worker Richard Maciaszek. "You can only do so much. As you can see I'm sweating to death out here. And you can only do so much you got to stop take breaks."

Workers making the repairs on the roof were dealing with extreme temperatures. A temperature reading of the rocks on the roof came in at more than 130 degrees.

"We've been working 5 o'clock in the morning until 5 o'clock at night. We start first light and then we leave and we can't even walk out of here it's so tiring," said Maciaszek.

The hope is to have the compressors completely repaired in both buildings by Friday night.

Fans and portable AC units were placed throughout the buildings. But poor ventilation because of the inability to open windows in the complex made it even tougher on workers.

The hope is to have the compressors completely repaired in both buildings by Friday night.

Copyright 2013 WSHM (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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