Petersburg firefighters continue to push for firetruck repairs and their own safety

Petersburg firefighters continue to push for firetruck repairs and their own safety
Posted at 5:47 PM, Jun 30, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-30 18:26:56-04

PETERSBURG, Va. -- Petersburg firefighters continue to face hardships as they continue to wait for fire engines and their truck to be repaired and returned to service.

It's a situation that has some in Petersburg concerned for their safety and some firefighters as well.

Just after 2 p.m. on Thursday, Engine 2 pulls away from the Market Street Fire Station as Petersburg Firefighters respond to a call at a nearby apartment complex. 

However, the city’s only aerial ladder truck sits about 10 miles away, waiting on repairs.

Right now, sources tell CBS 6, that there are five fire apparatus waiting on repairs at a repair shop in Chester. Three were spotted by CBS 6 cameras sitting in the parking lot at the Repair Shop.

“The magnitude of this event is unprecedented," Scott Spencer, the spokesperson for the Petersburg Professional Firefighters Association, said.

The Petersburg Professional Firefighters Association believes the city isn’t pushing to get the vehicles fixed.

“There appears to be minimal effort to have the apparatus repaired," said Spencer.

Some who are living in the city told CBS6 that they're concerned about the months-long delays in getting fire apparatus back on the streets and working properly.

“They really need to be repaired and I think with that, they will be able to come out and service us a lot better," one resident said.

The association said that firefighters are concerned about their safety as well.

“Our members are afraid that they may be placed in a position where their ability to affect firefighting and rescue operations may be jeopardized. And in turn, jeopardized by the vehicle that they travel to an emergency scene in."

Sources tell CBS 6 that a fire truck being loaned or rented by the City currently can’t run EMS calls due to its classification. The truck has also not had any equipment or hoses put on it so it can't run fire calls in the city.

A 1988 Seagrave Fire Engine, sitting outside Fire Station 5 on Johnson Road, is a reserve unit that is now on front line duty. However, it cannot be parked inside Station 5 because its water tank leaks.

“Creates a flooding situation inside the fire station," said Spencer.

The engine also has to have a garden hose attached to it to keep the water tank full.

Another fire engine is in service and pumps water, but its aerial boom is out of service.

While the city purchased several new fire engines and the aerial truck a few years ago, the lack of regular, routine maintenance, sources say, is part of the issue.

“The current apparatus is sustainable however it needs to be repaired," Spencer said.

The repair shop where the fire engines and truck are, would not comment on their status.

A Petersburg City Spokesperson said a supply chain issue with parts is causing the delay in repairs being completed.



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