Nashville firefighters fear aging equipment is dangerous
Firefighters are worried the equipment, which often breaks down at critical times, is putting lives at risk
By FireRescue1 Staff
NASHVILLE — Firefighters are worried about their aging equipment and fear lives could be put at risk.
News Channel 5 reported that many of the Nashville Fire Department stations are operating with backup equipment that often breaks down at critical times.
In one instance, a fire truck, which was a backup, was taken out of service during a response to a large apartment blaze after a water nozzle failure.
“Engine 26 shut down. Truck 26. We’ve had a failure of the masterstream. Truck 26 is dead in the water,” a firefighter can be heard saying on radio traffic.
The ladder was lowered on Truck 26 as two other trucks extinguished the blaze.
“When that happened you could do nothing except break back down,” Fire union president Mark Young said.
At the same time, a heavy piece of equipment fell to the ground at the scene.
“I’ve never heard of this happening,” Young said. “Luckily nobody was under there. Thank God for that, because it would have been a very catastrophic injury if that would have hit somebody.”
Young said the department has been battling equipment issues for years.
“There’s some equipment on the street that I don’t have much confidence in,” he said. “It’s kind of the norm right now in this city for malfunctioning equipment.”
It was also revealed on May 15 that the department had no reserve trucks available.
“This stares you in the face. It’s an Excel spreadsheet. This is not hard to read,” Metro Councilman Steve Glover said. “We are not taking care of the day-to-day basics in Nashville.”
Young said the issue needs to be fixed before it gets dangerous.
“You can put band-aids on stuff, but these band-aids last just a shift, maybe a shift. Then they’re broke back down,” he said.