2 Raleigh fire engines out of service due to staffing shortage

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Sunday, July 24, 2022
2 Raleigh fire engines out of service due to staffing shortage
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Two fire engines in Raleigh were out of service Saturday due to staffing shortages and staff working overtime.

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- A viral post about engines in Raleigh brought attention to the level of service that is demanded from firefighters, and the concerns that come with it.

The Facebook post stated that Raleigh's engine 4 and 13 were out of service with no staffing.

Raleigh's fire station houses engine 13 as well as a ladder company.

The difference between the two is that an engine is the primary extinguishment unit, their first function at a fire is to put the fire out.

The ladder company's job includes search and rescue. If there were a fire, they would be on the scene searching for victims, or ventilating gas.

The issue at hand is that there is not enough staff, and firefighters do more than just put out fires.

"I think most people look at us from a fire suppression standpoint and forget about the medical functions that we provide as well. Something as simple as delivering epinephrine, and chest compressions, albuterol, they are just as important and when those units aren't available to do it, you're asking citizens to wait extended amount of time just to receive care," Raleigh Fire Department captain Jennifer Patterson said.

Patterson told ABC11 that yesterday there were 138 people at work and 27 who worked overtime.

Ideally there would be 136 on a daily basis, however on Saturday there were 119 people at work.

Engine 4 was in service with people working overtime, according to the Raleigh Professional Fire Fighters Association as of Saturday evening.