Harrisburg firefighters say lack of repairs is jeopardizing public safety

FiresDisasters and AccidentsJobs and WorkplaceCompensation and BenefitsScott YoungInternational Association of Fire Fighters

One third of the Harrisburg City Fire Bureau's fire fighting apparatus is currently out of service, waiting for repairs.

"Tires, brake pads, there's electrical issues engine issues, these vehicles are used very hard & they need to be kept up, need to be maintained," says Scott Young, V.P. of Capital City Paid Firefighters IAFF Local 428.

Firefighters notify the city about the need for repairs & a process of purchase orders and approvals begins.

Chuck Ardo, Spokesman for Mayor Linda Thompson, says the process takes some time; three weeks is about the average. He expects the parts to arrive and be replaced any day now.

"The city has lots of equipment and although these pieces of equipment are important, they have not been out of service for an extended period of time," Ardo says.

"No, this is not normal, we should have those pieces back within the day or a few days," Young says.

The fire department has a total of nine pieces of equipment, three are currently down for repairs.

"I think one of the issues involved here is that there was no indication from the Fire Bureau that there was a priority on this order," says Ardo.

Making tensions higher between the Union and the City is the financial strain of payroll and suspension of overtime pay.

"The stress of having to learn, yes we're getting paid, no we're not getting paid, yeah you're getting paid through the media, on abi-weekly basis is just very hard on the morale," says Bruce Henry, 2nd V.P. with the Union.

"We are extremely confident that we will have payroll covered, payroll without overtime is right around a million dollars, as of mid-afternoon today (Monday) we had over 900,000 dollars in the bank," Ardo says.

Ardo says employees will be paid as usual this Wednesday. However, the city is not paying any overtime until further notice.

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