Dallas, Texas Fire Department Faces Truck Shortage – NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

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If you need a car quick in an emergency you go to the rental car counter and that’s what Dallas Fire Rescue is resorting to in the midst of a fire truck shortage.

Aerial ladder trucks help firefighters reach places they can’t reach with ladders from the ground.

Dallas normally has 23 trucks strategically placed among the 59 fire stations in the city where smaller fire engines are also staffed.

West Dallas Station 36 was one of several stations Wednesday that did not have the normal ladder truck on duty, according to Dallas Firefighters Association President Jim McDade.

“It slows response and it has a domino effect throughout the city,” Mc Dade said.

An executive with Siddons-Martin, a fire equipment vendor, confirmed Wednesday that it has been talking with Dallas Fire Rescue officials about renting trucks to help fill in.

McDade said that has never happened before in his 17 years as a Dallas firefighter.

“It’s a combination of not maintaining apparatus over the years, not being able to fix them, not being able to get parts to fix them and having accidents,” McDade said.

Dallas has its own fire maintenance garage where McDade said seven older aerial ladder trucks are normally kept as reserves to be used when front-like trucks are down or have wrecked. But, all seven old trucks are now in service and there is still a shortage of working ladder trucks.

Chief Dominique Artis confirmed Wednesday that Dallas Fire Rescue is short on mechanics and that some fire vehicles were also damaged in the August flooding.

“As I talk to other Fire Chiefs around the area, a lot of them are having the same issues,” Artis said.

The Dallas City Council Wednesday endorsed a $1.1 million budget amendment to help replace equipment and another $1.75 million for additional maintenance at fire stations.

Station 11 on Cedar Springs Road has structural problems. Council Members said they have visited other stations with rodent and health problems for firefighters.

“They should work in a safe environment, they should not work in stations in poor condition,” Councilman Tennell Atkins said.

Members said firefighters put up with the station maintenance problems for too long.

“There’s probably no amount of money I wouldn’t want to spend to fix up these facilities,” Council Member Cara Mendelsohn said.

The City Council Wednesday rejected Mendelsohn’s push for a larger cut in the property tax rate than is already proposed by City Manager T.C. Broadnax. Preserving money for public safety was among the reasons cited by members opposing a larger tax cut.

A final vote on a new Dallas City Budget is scheduled next Wednesday, September 28th, after a final public hearing for input on spending priorities.

Dallas, Texas Fire Department Faces Truck Shortage – NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

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