Political Feud Costs East Pittsburgh (PA) Fire Apparatus and Fire Department

For nearly a year, East Pittsburgh has not been able to use its fire truck. Now the community is losing its entire fire department.

A political feud has kept East Pittsburgh’s sole pumper truck from being inspected since September.

The borough council voted Tuesday to abolish the fire department and pay Braddock’s department to fight fires in East Pittsburgh.

Braddock has been responding to fires in East Pittsburgh because the borough refused to pay for its pumper truck to be reinspected.

Borough Council President Dennis Simon said East Pittsburgh did not want to spend thousands to maintain an aging truck. He also said the borough has few firefighters able to respond to calls.

But East Pittsburgh’s fire chief, a former councilman, said the dispute is about politics — not public safety.

“Basically what we have here is politicians making a decision based on personalities, not based on the public safety of the community,” Fire Chief Patrick Geric said last month.

East Pittsburgh will pay Braddock’s fire department $12,000 per year, plus $8,000 for insurance coverage, to handle fire calls.

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