HOUSTON (KTRK) --A Houston fire station was unmanned for half a day and firefighters are concerned it affected their ability to respond to life-threatening emergencies.
Fire Station 103 on High Valley Drive in Kingwood was essentially closed for 12 hours Monday so that its firefighters could attend mass casualty training for Super Bowl LI. As a result, another station had to cover the area.
Around 4pm, the Houston Fire Department got a drowning call. A 2-year-old girl was pulled from a pool on Golden Pond Drive and wasn't breathing. Neighbors jumped in to perform CPR as they waited for Station 101 to respond. It's two miles farther away and located on Kingwood Drive which is often slow-going.
According to a Houston Fire Department spokesman, the difference in response times was only about two minutes. He had no further information.
"Every second counts in that type of incident. I would hate to tell the mother we had a station unmanned," said Alvin White, President of the Houston Professional Fire Fighters Association (HPFFA).
The little girl remains hospitalized. Her condition is unknown.
HPFFA questions why the station was closed. Houston City Council Member Dave Martin, whose district includes Kingwood, says unmanning a fire station is unacceptable.
"We should have had 103 staffed," said Martin.