Many of the New Orleans Fire Department's trucks are "outdated and broken" and need to be replaced, the head of the city's firefighting union said during a presentation to the city's elected leaders.
During a budget presentation, a representative from the union told city council that many fire trucks are outdated or broken, with some equipment being held down by straps and ropes, reports The Times-Picayune.
Since Hurricane Katrina, the department has faced low employment numbers, losing an average of 39 employees per year from 2007-2015. Union President Nick Felton cited the low base salary, increasing reliance on overtime, and aging fleet as reasons why the department has failed to meet its hiring goals. Felton said most of the fire trucks are outdated and broken, including 13 of its 16 reserve units.
The approved budget offers a $7 million increase from the year prior for all fire department expenditures. The city has also spent $5 million on fire trucks this year, which are expected to start service in 2017.