According to the City of Lubbock, the Lubbock Fire Department has a gas budget of $182,000 a year. "They are about $17,000 away from exceeding their budget this year, so they will exceed their budget," said Director of Fiscal Policy Andy Burcham.
The city says they are trying to cut back in other areas, to accommodate the rising cost of fuel. "One of the main things that we are doing is managing our hiring so when a vacancy comes up in a department, say for example in finance or human resources we may hold that position if it won't cut services to our citizens," said Burcham.
Lubbock Fire Chief Rhea Cooper says his department is also taking steps to cut back. "In the past one of our particular training vehicle was a three quarter ton pickup, now we've reduced it down to a smaller truck," said Cooper. Cooper says gas is one of the main reasons a new central fire station is being built at 63 rd Street and Indiana Avenue.
"We're building a training room onto that fire station so we don't have to bring those trucks all the way across town, that's going to save a lot of fuel," said Cooper. While cut backs are being made in some areas, Cooper says emergencies are not one of them. "We are not reducing our emergency responses due to the fuel," said Cooper.
The city says that although the fire department is cutting back in some areas, they should expect to see an increase in the fuel budget for next year.
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