TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - Inside the Tucson Fire Department's Maintenance facility on Ajo Way is a fleet full of firetrucks that need repairs.
According to Assistant Chief Joe Gulotta of TFD, 83 percent of the vehicles in their fleet have more than 100,000 miles on them, or are older than 10 years.
Even though trucks must be replaced once they reach that mark, the department cannot afford it.
According to the city of Tucson's Public Safety Improvement Plan, it would cost more than $34 million to replace or repair the aging fleet.
Gulotta said their fleet of trucks are not like normal cars.
They are pushed harder and driven harder.
He said that's why it is so important they get replaced.
Some of their fleet is so old, parts are no longer being made for them, so they have to pull pieces from even older vehicles.
"We don't want you to be concerned if you call 911, but when they get older, they get less reliable so there is a chance it is going to break down when it is under stress and responding to calls," he said. "If that happens firetrucks from further away have to come to your home and that delays response times."
Gulotta added it is not just the fleet that needs to be upgraded.
They also need to replace or repair their tools and equipment, which would cost the department another several million dollars.
Tucson Mayor Jonathan Rothschild mentioned vehicles in Tucson Police Department are also in a similar situation,
Tucson News Now is now working to find out the condition of their fleet.
The city is planning for an election in May where voters can decide on a half-cent sales tax increase that would provide police and fire about $150 million for those repairs.
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