East Pittsburgh has been unable to use a fire truck for eight months because it has not been inspected.
The fire chief says politics are getting in the way of public safety.
When a house caught fire in January, trucks from Braddock, North Braddock and other communities showed up, but East Pittsburgh’s pumper truck never left the station. That’s because the truck’s inspection expired last September and the registration expired in January.
Why had the truck not been inspected?
“That’s a good question,” Council President Dennis Simon said. “You’d have to talk to the fire chief and see why he doesn’t want to get it inspected.”
Chief Patrick Geric said he wanted the truck to be inspected but he could not get the borough to pay for it.
For the past decade East Pittsburgh has paid the cost of the annual inspection of the fire truck. It’s usually about $2,000. Last fall, when it came time for the truck to be inspected, the fire department never heard from the borough, despite repeated requests.
“Why did the borough never pay for it this time around?” investigative reporter Paul Van Osdol asked.
“It really never came to taking the truck in to get a price. I’m not sure why they didn’t take it in,” Simon said. “We’re thinking of taking it in now ourselves to get a price on what it would cost to be inspected.”
The fire chief, who used to be on the council, said a longstanding political feud is the real reason the borough is not paying for the truck.
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