DI/Cainhoy Fire Station impacted by bed bugs
Over the last few weeks, bed bugs have been discovered at three City of Charleston fire stations, including Station 20, which serves the Daniel Island/Cainhoy area. The facility is located at Pinefield Drive off Clements Ferry Road, near the I-526 interchange.
According to a CFD press release, the other locations impacted are Stations 7 and 13 on James Island. Fire officials called bed bug infestations a “growing issue across the country and our region.”
The menacing insects have plagued other departments as well, continued the release, including the Myrtle Beach Fire Department in 2015 and Berkeley County EMS, who worked through similar issues just a few months ago.
Once the problem was identified at Station 20, the firefighters were relocated to Station 18 on Daniel Island, while a professional contractor proceeded with treatment, inspection, and cleaning of the station utilizing a chemical treatment process. But after the process was completed, signs of infestation were still observed. Crews were again relocated as another treatment was applied. Due to employee concerns about the residual effects of the pesticides used, the department’s health and safety officer researched and located a mitigation effort that uses high heat to eradicate the pests. A professional cleaning company was also bought in to deep clean the station. Unfortunately, once firefighters returned earlier this week, a single bug was found. While waiting to confirm the insect was actually a bed bug, crews were once again relocated to Station 18 as a precaution.
“This isn’t something we ever want our firefighters to have to go through or are happy about them enduring,” said Interim Fire Chief John Tippett. “But, as always, our members have more than risen to the occasion, and really been remarkable every step of the way. They know that this job is ultimately about saving lives and property…The men and women of this department aren’t about to let this or any other problem get in the way of that duty. My staff and I are committed to resolving this problem as quickly as possible, getting the crews back in their stations and giving them the peace of mind they need to keep their families safe.”