YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – For the third day in a row, one of Youngstown’s fire trucks is out of service due to a lack of manpower. Most recently, it was the ladder truck assigned to the main station downtown.
“The simple answer to that is we just don’t have enough firefighters,” said Jon Racco, president of Youngstown Professional Firefighters Local 312.
One of the two engines on the city’s east side was shut down Sunday night as crews were called to a house fire on Carbone Street.
Racco said the crew from Engine 12 was there alone for so long that they ran out of water before another truck arrived. Station 6, close by on Oak Street, was closed at the time.
“Those three firefighters did an incredible job for an extended period of time,” Racco said.
Late Friday night, Racco says crews were shorthanded again with a fire on Glenwood Avenue. The city’s other ladder truck stationed just blocks away was out of service.
“There were two victims that were hurt. One of them from jumping out of second story window because there was no ladder there,” Racco said.
In both incidents, Racco said the trucks replacing the ones shut down over the weekend came from the Number 1 main station. Something that added to the response time.
Chief Barry Finley said the department ran through its overtime budget in July, and he can’t afford to bring on extra staff when firefighters call off sick. This also comes days after some members of the city council said they want to begin looking into consolidating and downsizing the department years from now.
“That’s a slap in the face to the citizens. It’s a slap in the face to the firefighters,” Racco said.