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'You are not being properly protected': Union concerned after fire truck breaks down
WINNIPEG -- A number of Winnipeg Fire Paramedic trucks are undergoing lengthy repairs, including one at Dalhousie station, which has the union concerned about the impact this may have on the firefighters’ ability to respond to emergencies.
When a fire broke out at a Waverley West building that’s under-construction, Samuel Rofaeil was sleeping -- but not for long.
“It was very bright, it was even shining into the back rooms of my house,” he says.
But if another fire was to break out in Waverley West, there would be one less fire truck available to respond.
The firefighters union says one of the two trucks at the Pembina and Dalhousie station has broken down.
"That other one should have been replaced years ago, but because they've kept it in service, we're holding it together with duct tape and glue," says Alex Forrest, president of the United Fire Fighters of Winnipeg.
Forrest says the city provided another truck for the station, a water rescue vehicle, which he says won't help in the event of a fire.
"It has zero capacity to fight fires. There's no hose, there's no water, there's no breathing apparatus. We are here today to tell you, you are not being properly protected," says Forrest.
In a statement to CTV News, the City of Winnipeg says: “At no time was the area around Station 23 (including Waverley West) lacking coverage. Resources were shuffled from other stations to ensure adequate coverage in all areas of the city and to ensure responses remained timely.”
The city goes on to say anytime there is a large-scale incident, 911 dispatchers move apparatus into areas where crews are busy to make sure there is coverage for additional calls if necessary.
Coun. Janice Lukes describes the issue as concerning.
“I'm a little surprised that they're running that thin,” she says.
Lukes says she's been assured another fire truck will be put into the station, but what she'd really like to see is a new station put into Waverley West.
Whether that will happen depends on decisions councillors make in the upcoming budget.
The City of Winnipeg tells CTV News the fire truck that broke down Monday should be back in service later this week.