With ladder trucks out of service, Petersburg firefighters union calling on city to keep residents safe

PETERSBURG, Va. (WRIC) — A firefighters union in Petersburg is calling on the city to finalize repairs to the department’s ladder trucks, which they say are sorely needed to keep the city’s residents safe.

The firefighters union on Tuesday reached out to 8News on social media, stating that both of the city’s ladder trucks are out of service. A union rep said that one of the ladder trucks went out of commission just recently. They explained that the second truck had its repairs completed, but that the city has yet to pay for the service.

The union rep said the city’s reckless decisions are putting residents in danger. They explained that without a ladder truck, it becomes extremely difficult to enter elevated floors and rescue people inside.

They explained that some firefighters are responding to incidents in pickup trucks. Petersburg fire officials are also relying on neighboring localities to provide ladder trucks if the situation calls for one.

Petersburg Fire Chief T.C. Hariston says one of the ladder trucks is being repaired in Richmond. According to the chief, the second ladder truck in question has a bad tire. He says he expects the tire to be replaced by the close of business Thursday.

Fire officials who share in the mutual aid agreement with Petersburg say it’s not unusual for the departments to support one another in this manner.

“We have assisted them both in fire resources and fire EMS ambulance resources,” Colonial Heights Fire Chief A.G. Moore told 8News. “It is slightly up the past 45 to 60 days. We don’t have any concerns because we are always going to keep resources in our city to respond to our citizens or business owners, but if we have extra resources at the time and resources that are available at the time, we will send them to another locality.”

This is a developing story. Stay with 8News online and on air for the latest updates.

Find 8News on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram; send your news tips to iReport8@wric.com.