New Spokane Fire Dept. vehicles raise safety concerns

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by HAYLEY GUENTHNER & KREM.com

KREM.com

Posted on June 18, 2014 at 6:26 AM

Updated Wednesday, Jun 18 at 9:19 AM

SPOKANE, Wash. -- The Spokane Fire Department is saving money by regularly using alternate response vehicles, but some have questioned whether the smaller vehicles were as safe as traditional fire trucks.

WATCH: New Spokane Fire Dept. vehicles save taxpayers money

The Alternate Response Units are operated by a single firefighter and used to respond to calls that do not require a full engine. Fire officials said safety concerns arose with the smaller units, but were swiftly dealt with.

“We have so many safeguards built in,” said Mike Dawson with the Spokane Fire Department.

The ARUs were equipped with sophisticated GPS technology and operated with heightened awareness.

“We know the neighborhoods, we know where is safe, where isn't,” Dawson explained. “We weigh all those things together.”

The department selected its most experienced firefighters with years of experience to operate the ARUs.  The firefighters said their job is dangerous and they are prepared to do it whether alone or working with others.

 

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