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Brazos County volunteer fire department feels impact of inflation

Posted at 5:14 PM, Jun 18, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-18 18:14:02-04

BRYAN, Texas — First responders are feeling the impact of inflation as gas prices rise. A local volunteer fire department fire department tells us how they are still maintaining during hard times.

Due to how much diesel is needed to fill up emergency vehicles, Chief Joe Warren says his team is spending thousands at the pump.

“We’re spending about $2,000 a month on our cars,” says Chief Joe Warren, Brazos County Volunteer Fire Department Precinct 4. “Our call volume have increased so the fuel cost is going to go up.”

Chief warren says the bigger the truck, the more fuel. With higher gas prices, some operations may get cut.

“We’re trying to limit what we’re doing out in the community,” said Chief Warren. “Not going out riding around. We may have to cut our training back on some of our pump operations in driving classes due to cost of fuel.”

In the meantime, they’re trying to make do. Chief warren says just last year it cost about $1,000-$1,100 a month to fill up all 10 diesel trucks. Now, it’s doubled.

“We’re tying to use our booster trucks to pickup trucks to go on the calls, to medical calls to kind of help cut the cost of fuel down,” says Chief Warren.

Even with maintaining current supply, Chief Warren is running out of resources with the volunteer fire department and will have to borrow from another budget to make ends meet.

“I budgeted $25,000 for fuel this fiscal year,” said Chief Warren. “I have $3000 left. It has to get me to October 1.”

Emergency trucks are guzzling through gas, putting a pinch of volunteer fire departments.

“We just have to look at our budget and see what we can do,” said Chief Warren. “Be as conservative as possible during these trying times.”

Chief Warren says the bigger the truck, the more fuel. He says the big trucks only get about seven miles to the gallon.

“When you fill up one of these big engines with diesel, you’re looking at $150 to $170 a trip.”

With inflation impacting gas prices and emergency vehicles, Chief Warren is hopeful that conditions improve soon to continue serving the community.