The Shreveport City Council began the process Friday of funding the purchase of a number of new vehicles for the city's fire department.

The ordinance, introduced by Councilmembers Grayson Boucher, Tabatha Taylor and James Green, will reallocate $3,275,000 from the city's operating reserves fund to the fire department for three new fire engines and other emergency vehicles.

The need for the move grew even more apparent last weekend, when the SFD suffered a rash of equipment breakdowns, including a truck fire. As a result, the city has had to borrow a truck from Bossier City's department and vehicles from Balentine Ambulance Service.

On Tuesday, Shreveport Fire Chief Scott Wolverton told KEEL, "Our fleet is in very poor shape," adding that despite the recent addition of three new engines, the city's fleet is deteriorating. "Only nine of our 21 front line engines are less that 15 years old. Only 12 are less than 25 years old," he said.

The measure is expected to be introduced at the Council's meeting August 12 and will come to a vote on August 24.

The ordinance, which is expected to pass easily, will pay for three new fire engines, a medic unit, two EOD (Explosive Ordinance Disposal) suits, bunker gear and CPR devices.

In a Facebook post Friday, Councilman Boucher underlined how the new equipment is long overdue:

It’s a start!
I'm proud to sponsor, along with, Councilwomen Taylor and Councilman Green, this legislation to provide funding for 3 new Fire Engines, 1 new Medic unit and additional much needed equipment for the citizens of Shreveport and the brave members of the Shreveport Fire Department. We will introduce this legislation Tuesday and the final vote will be in two weeks. With this legislation and it’s approval, we will have reduced the over all fleet age tremendously. 6 new engines and 2 used engines with very few miles and pump hours. We are not there yet, but we are at least moving!
Secondly, SPD has taken delivery of many of the new patrol units, traffic units and other unmarked units. My goal in the next month or so is to do a budget amendment to insure every officer that lives in Shreveport can have a take home vehicle. This will cut down on wear and tear of the units and will drastically increase the life of these vehicles and reduce over all maintenance cost.
Patience is hard, I like to see things move a lot faster than they do in government, but this mess wasn’t created over night and it can’t and won’t be corrected over night. All I can say is at least we have some progress.
As always, God Bless our first responders and keep them safe!
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