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WKBW 7 News Buffalo

City of Buffalo looks to buy used firetruck, money for damaged trucks approved

By Kristen Mirand,


One of the first findings in New York University's Robert F. Wagner School of Public Service blizzard report shares that Buffalo's emergency vehicle fleet was "not sufficient" to address the storm event.

SEE ALSO: NYU Report shares how City of Buffalo can learn from Christmas Blizzard failures

During the storm, the report notes that firetrucks and ambulances were stuck in snow or frozen to the ground which only exacerbated emergency conditions.

"The blizzard kind of opened some of the concerns for our vehicles so we have to do a better job," University District Council Member Rasheed Wyatt said.

The City of Buffalo will now spend thousands of dollars to repair firetrucks that were stranded during the blizzard. Wyatt said it will cost more than $240,000. That money was transferred and approved during Tuesday's finance committee meeting.

"That's very important because many of those vehicles were on the sidelines and not part of the fleet," he said.

Sarah Kaufman, interim director of Rudin Center for Transportation with NYU, helped put together the blizzard report.

"It seems that none of the vehicles by the fire department and a lot of the police department vehicles are built for this amount of snow and that's reasonable because, for most of the year, you don't need that," Kaufman said, "I think it's a positive step that the city is purchasing some vehicles that can handle mixed terrain and more scenarios." WKBW
The roughly 180-page blizzard report was released by NYU on Friday.

The City of Buffalo is purchasing 14 pieces of fire equipment, but only some will arrive by October. 7 News' Kristen Mirand asked Mayor Byron Brown about this at Friday's release of the blizzard report.

"What's the timeline on getting that equipment because you know it takes a while, takes a year sometimes, to get that snow fighting equipment, those new fire trucks," Mirand asked.

"What we've done in some instances is we've worked to expedite some of those purchases so that we can access some of that equipment for the upcoming season," Brown responded. City of Buffalo, Common Council
The City of Buffalo is looking at the possibility of purchasing a used firetruck.

Another solution the city is exploring is potentially purchasing a used firetruck from 2007.

"Commissioner [William] Renaldo, he's doing a good job reaching out to other municipalities to see what's available for the city if we have the funding and we still have to do a bid process," Commissioner Delano Dowell said.

At Tuesday's meeting, Dowell said they need to wait for the municipality that currently has the used firetruck to sign off on selling it.
Dowell said there will be a competitive bid on it, which won’t occur until August. As the city sorts out this possibility, the decision will ultimately be up to council members.

"We have to be ready and we cannot have another excuse. People died and that should not have happened," Wyatt said.

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