BUFFALO, N.Y. — Last month’s blizzard has trained a spotlight on the deplorable condition of the Buffalo’s firefighting fleet.
What’s illuminated is not pretty.
- More than half the fleet — 15 of 28 vehicles — is older than recommended industry standards.
- Many trucks are plagued by serious issues — cracked frames, unreliable pumps, engine problems — and have trouble generating firefighting foam.
- Three of the department’s pumper trucks have trouble blowing heat, which means windows caked with ice in winter weather.
- Over the last 12 years, the city has invested a quarter of what it would take to keep the fleet up to date, as recommended by the National Fire Protection Association.
Firefighters who spoke to Investigative Post described arriving at an East Side house fire earlier this month, only to find the lead truck couldn’t pump water. Several told stories about trucks breaking down on the way to a call.