Concerns After Wissinoming (PA) Fire Apparatus Wheel Problem

When Pipeline 52 rolls out from its Wissinoming firehouse, its crew is prepared to expect pretty much anything. But on Tuesday, they suddenly discovered a set of their rear wheels, along with the axle, had begun coming off their pumper truck.

“If a wheel comes flying off, you have a projectile that could hurt another person, it can cause another major incident or crash,” Andrew Thomas, President of Firefighters Local 22 said.

Fortunately, Thomas explained, the truck was not moving at top emergency speed and no one was hurt. But, he adds, breakdowns in the department’s aging fleet are a real worry.

After a medic unit caught fire, heavily damaging a firehouse at 4th and Arch Sts. in September, 2013, the CBS 3 I-Team for the past two years has documented a series of apparatus failures, many involving older units.

The day after Pipeline 52 began losing its wheels, we found a 24-year-old pumper truck, with more than 191,000 miles on its odometer, covering for a frontline apparatus that was not in service.

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