With half of its firefighting vehicles under repair at once, the Texarkana (TX) Fire Department has borrowed a reserve pumper truck from its neighbors on the Arkansas side, according to a report from Arkansas Online.
Myriad mechanical issues—such as brake problems and a malfunctioning motor—have shrunk the Texarkana FD’s fleet of eight trucks, five front-line vehicles and three reserve, to four that are operable, Texas-side Fire Chief Eric Schlotter said.
The Arkansas collective is left with two of its normal three reserve trucks, one of which itself needs work, the report said.
“That is kind of thin, but it’s not so thin that I wouldn’t help them out when we can, because you never know when we might have to reciprocate,” Arkansas-side Fire Chief David Fletcher said.
The Texarkana FD is fully operational, with all five fire stations staffed and ready to respond to emergencies, and residents will not see a difference in service, Schlotter said.
The situation is somewhat unusual but not unheard of, both chiefs said. Schlotter said the situation was a matter of bad timing and noted that keeping such complex, heavy-duty vehicles in good repair is a continuous challenge.
“This isn’t the first time that things kind of stacked up on us,” he said. “It always seems like Murphy’s Law, if it’s ever going to really jump on us, it’s with fleet issues. Every fire department fleet that I know of deals with the same issues.”
When the Texas department’s trucks will be repaired is uncertain.
“It’s not something we would prefer to happen,” Schlotter said. “We certainly don’t like it when we’re in this situation, but it is nice that we have partners, and it’s why we maintain those agreements with all those partners. Our strength is a collective one. We’re stronger because we have these partnerships with these other cities and agencies.”