MUSKEGON, Mich., (WOOD) — Fire crews in Muskegon say they are being forced to use engines borrowed from other departments.
This after the city said two trucks had to be taken off the street for repairs after it missed preventative repairs. The work, which will take about two weeks, will now cost about $30,000.
The station on Marquette Avenue and the station at Lakeshore Drive and Robinson Street have been impacted. For now, those stations are using engines from Eggleston and Muskegon townships to respond to calls.
The Muskegon Professionals Firefighters Union, which took to Facebook to discuss the issue, says the situation stems from stations not being allocated the proper resources to begin with.
“Due to years of underfunding, the fire department is forced to borrow fire trucks from other communities to continue delivering the services our residents expect and deserve. This is an unsafe and inefficient practice,” Michael Hewartson, the union president, said in a statement to News 8.
The city said that while it has received several complaints over the years from the union, this is not a budgeting issue. It says the practice of borrowing equipment from other local departments is strategic and has been used several times before.
“We have a great relationship with the departments that surround Muskegon,” City Manager Frank Peterson said. “There are different times where we’ve been able to provide them with mutual aid or assistance with equipment and things like that. There are times when, obviously like this one, different departments are able to help us with their surplus equipment. We find and believe that it’s a better use of tax payer money.”
The city says response times have not been affected. It says data over the last few years shows that not only have fire crews been able to maintain similar response times, but they have improved in some cased.