Ballot question could aid Erie, others in funding needs

The Erie Bureau of Fire puts a lot of miles and wear and tear on its fleet of fire trucks in responding to fires, emergency medical calls and other incidents in the city, Fire Chief Joe Walko said.

He credits the effort and skill of the bureau’s three fire mechanics in keeping the aging fleet running.

“Some of our rigs are getting close to 20 years old. With our climate, the weather, the salt, everything else, those fire trucks take a beating all the time,” Walko said. “Thank goodness we have our own mechanics. If not for those three guys at Marsh Street, we would really be hurting. We’re welding frames, everything else to keep them running.”

It’s vital work, given that replacing an old rig with a new one can cost in the neighborhood of $600,000 for an engine and more than $1 million for a ladder or tower, Walko said.

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