ATLANTA — A third of the City of Atlanta fire trucks and engines are currently out of service, according to data provided to Channel 2 Action News on Tuesday.
According to the data, five of the city’s 31 fire engines are currently not in operation, while 10 of its 15 ladder trucks are currently unavailable.
“All in-service Fire equipment is operating efficiently to respond to emergent incidents throughout the city. There is no fire service delivery risk to the City of Atlanta, our citizens, or our visitors,” the statement read.
Channel 2 Action News reached out to other departments to see if they faced similar situations.
Cobb County says they have more than 50 fire vehicles in their fleet. Only one is currently not in service because it is being used at the fair.
Johns Creek says they currently do not have any fire vehicles down.
“At the end of the day, fire trucks are mechanical, they are going to break down from time to time,” said Johns Creek Fire Chief Chris Coons.
Chief Coons said it was surprising to see that many vehicles out of service, but said when trucks go down, fire departments come up with contingency plans.
“We have plenty of contingencies in place, and every fire department does,” Coons said.
Coons said that usually means potentially rearranging resources or calling in older, reserve trucks to fill the gap.
“Of course, in the back of your mind, you are wondering how dependable that reserve truck is,” Coons said.
“It’s definitely a safety issue for our firefighters,” said Nate Bailey, President of the Atlanta Professional Firefighters Union.
Bailey said a domino effect has hurt the fleet.
A growing city has led to more calls for service, which leads to more stress on the fleet, leading to more breakdowns.
Bailey says past administrations have not consistently replaced firetrucks, which leaves Atlanta with an aging group of firetrucks and engines.
The City of Atlanta did approve millions of dollars to replace some of the trucks and engines. However, none of the new vehicles have been delivered.
Councilman Hillis hopes the council will approve a long-term plan to keep the fleet updated and says he plans to ask leaders of the department about issues at the next council meeting.