Firefighters Say Engine Fleet Is Breaking Down

In 60 days, vehicles taken out of service 56 times.

The Philadelphia Fire Department’s fleet of trucks and vehicles is increasingly fragile, firefighters say.

CBS Philly reports that the firefighters union provided the station with two months of maintenance records, from last summer. Over 60 days, 56 trucks and vehicles were taken temporarily out of service due to mechanical issues.

“The condition of the fleet has never been this bad,” union president Joe Schulle said.

The sources that told Eyewitness News about those problems say they are merely symptoms of a department-wide issue. Fire trucks and medic units that are old and break down too often.

It’s all the result of an aging fire department fleet, one that regularly uses vehicles with 250 thousand miles, all hard city miles.

The city expects to budget $7 million for fire engine replacement next year; a single engine can cost more than a half-million dollars.