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Dallas, TX
Monday, November 28, 2022
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Dallas Fire-Rescue Forced to Rent Trucks Due to Shortage

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Close-up of a Dallas Fire Department fire truck. | Image by 5 NBC DFW

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Dallas Fire-Rescue doesn’t have enough fire trucks.

To make up for this shortage, the department is renting two ladder trucks, which could arrive within the week, according to a memo sent to the Dallas City Council.

DFR typically maintains a fleet of 23 fire trucks, but nine are currently out of commission. They are in need of repairs from crash damage and mechanical issues.

Meanwhile, the department has been responding to emergencies using seven older trucks typically in reserve.

DFR is in the process of finalizing plans to rent the two vehicles.

“These trucks are expected to be in service as early as next week, bringing us back to our full response capability,” the memo stated, adding that DFR expects two of the nine out-of-commission trucks to be back in use within the next few weeks. Still, the repairs for the other seven trucks will take longer to finish.

“While a shortage of available apparatus can represent a significant challenge to DFR, this is a temporary situation that we can and will manage,” the memo stated.

Officials say the repairs have been delayed due to a lack of mechanics and supply chain issues for parts.

“Pre-pandemic, we never had issues like we’re seeing now where we just don’t have enough equipment to be put back in service as fast as we were seeing then,” said DFR Chief Dominique Artis. “With parts, you could see a delay from a week to two weeks or other issues that delay it further. It’s all over the map.”

The lack of fire trucks isn’t the only shortage faced by Dallas’ emergency response departments. As reported in The Dallas Express, the city is experiencing a shortage of both police cruisers and ambulances due to the global supply chain crisis.

Despite DFR receiving the second largest cut of money from the city’s general fund, behind only the police department, fire stations across Dallas are in need of millions of dollars in repairs.

In the last five years, DFR has spent nearly $74 million on 176 new vehicles, including 17 new ladder trucks, according to the city. The city’s upcoming budget proposes allocating $368 million to DFR starting in October — a $31 million increase from last year.

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