WALLINGFORD — A fire department medical emergency response truck is slated to return to service Monday after a month off the road due to a budget shortfall.
Fire Chief Richard Heidgerd said Thursday that Rescue 3, a pickup truck that carries gear primarily for medical calls, has been out the last four weeks because the department didn’t have enough money to staff the truck through the end of the fiscal year.
Rescue 3, which runs five days a week to keep fire engines available, is “predominately staffed with overtime,” he said.
“We budget for that above our minimum staffing,” Heidgerd said. “It adds to capacity during the day. It’s a good thing to have.”
Minimum career-side manpower per shift is 12 firefighters covering two engines and one ladder truck, a fire commander and an ambulance.
There’s an extra ambulance during the day, as well as Rescue 3 running on weekdays.
“We overstaff because of the call volume and prevalence of medical emergencies,” he said.
Forecasting a budget shortfall, Heidgerd asked the mayor’s office for the extra funds, but the “money was not available,” Heidgerd said.
“It was absorbing a lot of overtime,” Mayor William W. Dickinson Jr. said Thursday.
Heidgerd said there were “no adverse impacts” as a result of Rescue 3 being out of service.
“There were no calls we hadn’t gotten to,” he said.
On Thursday, public works mechanics performed routine preventative maintenance work on the truck ahead of its anticipated return to the road.
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