Gray fire trucks? Pittsburgh fire union fights to keep apparatus red

The fire union is speaking up after officials announced plans to paint public safety vehicles steel gray


By Jessie Forand

PITTSBURGH — A Pittsburgh fire union is asking the city to leave its apparatus alone.

All public safety vehicles in the city are being repainted steel gray, in honor of the city’s industrial history, KDKA 2 reported, which includes the Pittsburgh Fire Department’s entire fleet of fire trucks.

A fire union in Pittsburgh has asked the city's mayor to reconsider plans to paint fire trucks gray.
A fire union in Pittsburgh has asked the city's mayor to reconsider plans to paint fire trucks gray. (Photo/Pittsburgh Fire Fighters)

However, the city’s fire union is pushing back on that decision, with officials sending a letter asking Mayor Bill Peduto to reconsider.

Aside from objecting to the color change for historical and traditional purposes, the union objects to repainting the vehicles for financial and operational reasons, explained union president Ralph Sicuro. Each vehicle will cost the city an estimated $8,000 to repaint, for a total of more than $70,000.

“Red is obviously a primary color for firefighting, and it’s been a historical color for us to use over the years," Sicuro said in an interview with KDKA 2. “But … we have a fleet that needs maintenance. We need more vehicles. Why spend $72,000 to repaint something that is brand new?”

In a statement, Peduto’s office said there is “misinformation” about the painting plan and maintained the base color will remain red, with gray detailing.  

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