The Tucson Fire Department is struggling to maintain an up-to-date fleet due to rising maintenance costs for an aging fleet and a growing funding gap for adding new vehicles, reports News 4 Tucson KVOA.
More than half of the department’s 80 trucks have been in use for more than 10 years. The agency has had a funding shortfall since 2009 and last purchased a new emergency response vehicle in 2011. Some of the trucks are not properly maintained because of this lack of funding.
New paramedic vehicles are needed the most. The 30 currently owned by the department have an average of 134,000 miles per vehicle, and more than half of their 12 ladder trucks are over 14 years old.
City managers have started a poll to see if citizens will vote for a half-cent sales tax increase. The department estimates it needs $5 million to $6 million per year to adequately maintain its fleet.