Both Dallas Police Department and Dallas Fire-Rescue are dealing with a severe shortage of emergency vehicles because of manufacturer delays. Fox 4 reports that Dallas Fire-Rescue spoke to council members on Monday and telling them it is taking almost three years to receive much-needed fire trucks and ambulances.
Two to three years is a long wait for police cars, fire trucks, and other emergency vehicles, that are needed now. The backlog of emergency vehicles is not just an isolated problem in Dallas. Dallas Fire-Rescue told city council members that it is taking two to three years for manufacturers to complete orders for emergency vehicles. This could lead to an emergency of its own.
Dallas Fire Association President Jim McDade told Fox 4:
"This is not just a Dallas issue. It’s going to affect every municipality around Texas and the nation unless we prioritize emergency response vehicles."
Dallas Fire-Rescue is working to get lawmakers to focus on prioritizing emergency vehicles in the next legislative session. The major automakers don't prioritize fleet vehicles like ambulances because there's greater profit to make a pick up for someone. Fox 4 says Dallas Police is struggling with an aging fleet of squad cars, with many over 100,000 miles.
According to Fox 4, there are dozens of new police cars just sitting, but because they don't have chips for the computers, they can't run the cars without computers. The shortage of useable vehicles is a safety concern. Most of the officers killed in the line of duty were killed in vehicle accidents. Fox 4, says DPD would like to expand its fleet to allow for drive-home cars.