Toledo Fire Department in need of new rigs

TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - The Toledo Fire Department's fleet travels more than a million miles each year, but with all those miles comes the need for constant upkeep and repair.

"These are hard miles put on our rigs driving in the city, stop-and-go traffic, all types of conditions," Private Sterling Rahe said. "We do our best we can to maintain them, but there needs to be a point where they're replaced."

The time to replace some of the rigs has come.

Private Rahe said some of the department's backup equipment is between 12 and 15 years old. Some of the rigs have more than 200 thousand miles on them and more than 20 thousand hours of use.

That's why Fire Chief Brian Byrd approached City Council last week to propose setting aside five million dollars in the 2019 budget for six new engines and two new ladder trucks.

Now it's in the hands of the Kapszukiewicz Administration to find the money.

"We are currently working through our budget process now, and we have a lot of competing needs," said Mayor Kapszukiewicz. "We will present our budget in one month."

"When the fire department says we don't have the equipment to fight fires, that means we don't have the services to serve our public," said Councilman Tom Waniewski. "It's really not an option to not make sure that the fleet of firefighting equipment is staffed properly."

Once submitted, the budget must then be approved by council in early 2019.