Reporter: ‘As we all know, you can’t fight a fire with an ambulance’

TV station focuses on staffing problems at Wisconsin fire department

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When the TV reporter says, “As we all know, you can’t fight a fire with an ambulance”  (video below), you know it’s not a good story for the fire department. WTMJ-TV reporter Ben Jordan has been all over staffing issues at Wisconsin’s Hales Corners Fire Department. The department is blaming a scheduling error for not having anyone on duty last Wednesday who could drive a fire engine to a car fire.

Using three full-time and 45 part-time personnel, Hales Corners Fire Department prides itself in providing “the lowest per capita cost of fire and rescue protection in all of Milwaukee County”. In previous stories, WTMJ-TV has noted that only one firefighter was on duty on Labor Day and low pay for part-time firefighters. As Jordan’s story shows, if a fire department can’t respond to an emergency, the citizens aren’t likely to cite “the lowest per capita cost” claim when the reporter asks for their opinion.

Hales Corners Fire Department website

Ben Jordan, WTMJ-TV:

TODAY’S TMJ4 has learned the Hales Corners Fire Department didn’t have a single firefighter on duty Wednesday who could operate a fire truck.

We were the first to tell you about the department’s low wages of $11.25 an hour for part-timers and how they only had one firefighter on-duty on Labor Day. Now, the village is owning their latest mistake.

The Hales Corners Fire Chief said a scheduling error is to blame for leaving only three part-time firefighters on duty Wednesday who weren’t able to properly respond to a car fire.

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