Va. union: Mechanical fire truck issues pose safety threat

The department has resorted to using outdated trucks and borrowing vehicles from other departments

By FireRescue1 Staff

PETERSBURG, Va. — A fire union has called attention to safety concerns due to a department’s ailing apparatus fleet and the city’s lack of funds to update engines. 

The Petersburg Fire Department has several vehicles that are out of commission, forcing firefighters to use outdated rigs and borrow trucks from other departments. 

“It’s one of the biggest safety issues they’ve got going right now, both for the firefighters and the city of Petersburg,” union official Gene Beemer told WTVR

The city’s financial struggles have affected the department’s ability to update their trucks. The main ladder truck, which was placed out of commission two months ago due to mechanical problems, has since been fixed — but since the city is unable to pay for the full maintenance costs, firefighters can’t use it. 

“What’s the cost of a life in the city? You can’t keep saying money is not there and fully fund a fire department,” Beemer said. 

Officials said they are investigating the situation. 

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