(MOBILE, Ala.) If a high rise building should catch fire in Mobile, and if the city's firefighters and equipment were called in to battle the blaze and save lives, city officials say first responders may not be as ready as you'd think.
"Well, from a ladder truck stand point we have zero stand by ladder trucks," said Steve Huffman of Mobile Fire Rescue. "We have 5 trucks that should be on duty, and we're two down. So we have no reserves and we're short one that should be in active service right now."
The same concerns revolve around the Mobile Police Department, its officers and its vehicles..
"We have several vehicles we'd like to get off the road that have over 200 thousand miles on them that just don't run as well as they could," said Ashley Rains with the Mobile Police Department.
But there is good news.
The city is about to commit cash to buy 70 new police cars.
The fire department has also been promised enough cash to replace two ladder trucks, both approaching 30 years old, and both bearing the weight of more than 200 thousand hard running miles.
"This is not like a family car," said Huffman. "These trucks run hard all the time. When they're at a fire or any incident we're involved in, they're always running because that's what pumps the water."
The council is expected to approve a financing plan during Tuesday's council meeting.
The plan includes slightly more than 5 million dollars spread out over 5 years paid for, in part, by the revised penny sales tax.
Good news, but not good enough for everybody, says Ashley Rains.
"We have over 500 police officers," she said. "70 cars is a step in the right direction, but, obviously, not every officer will be in a new vehicle."