After staffing shortages, equipment breakdowns, Petersburg Fire makes improvements

Posted at 5:15 PM, Mar 10, 2023
and last updated 2023-03-10 17:15:26-05

PETERSBURG, Va. -- Last year, Petersburg firefighters ran 5,615 calls. It was also a year of equipment breakdowns and staffing shortages.

But change is coming with a new ladder truck.

While it's a 2000 model it has certain attributes that firefighters say will make it ideal for the historic city.

"Being that the tiller truck is easier to navigate through the city streets, the tight city streets here in Petersburg," Chris Magann, Petersburg Fire Department's interim chief said.

In early summer, a brand-new Pierce firefighter engine is due to come in.

"It's tremendous for us," Magann said.

The department also has a plan to resolve staffing issues.

"We've just recently started five pre-certified personnel. They are in school, in training now," Magann said.

New equipment and more firefighters are something that business owner David Walwer agrees with.

"It sounds like things are going in the right direction finally. And if they can progress and get us so that the citizens are safe again, I think that would be the best thing for Petersburg," Walwer said.

The firefighters are also looking for new gear for firefighters including hoses, nozzles and up-to-date multi-functioning heart monitors.

The department also has plans to get its promotion process back in the works.

"Once we move forward with all the equipment and apparatus and promotions, morale has been going up and at that point, it can only continue to go up," Magann said.

If all goes as planned, the new heart monitors should be on the streets by the end of this month and the two new fire trucks on the streets of Petersburg by mid-June.

"It's a great asset to the city," Magann said.


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