Alexandria has only seven fire engines and one ladder truck to cover its population of roughly 140,000. They regularly borrow a truck from Arlington. Their trucks average 10 to 15 years old and they haven’t bought a new one in seven years, Chief Adam Thiel tells the Alexandria Times. One recent day, the Duke Street station was staffed by three firefighters with a Chevy Suburban.
Alexandria has appropriated money to buy new equipment, but fire officials note that you can’t run down to the nearest Ford dealer and buy one off the lot. So new help is a year away, and that’s a little concerning to some folks as they prepare for the influx of 6,400 federal employees this fall at the BRAC behemoth on Seminary Road in the city’s west end, which might also affect response times. The Alexandria Fire Department responds to about 19,000 calls per year.
Derrick Perkins has more in the Alexandria Times.