How first responders are managing high gas prices

SPOKANE, Wash. – Gas prices continue to remain high and medical response teams need their fire trucks and ambulances filled up to respond to your emergencies. 

American Medical Response and the Spokane Fire Department are working to manage the costs. 

The fire department uses diesel propane and unleaded fuel to fill up. 

Fire Chief Brian Schaeffer said these types of consumables always vary in price, so when the department does their budget bid, they aim them toward the higher side. 

A combination of government assistance and reserves will keep trucks fueled through fire season and beyond. 

“We have not reduced services, we have not reduced any level of protection as a result, but we are doing things smarter,” Schaeffer said. 

In the past few years, the department has invested in electric vehicles. 

SFD has already transitioned to clean diesel and regen technology, which allows trucks to shut down when they arrive on scene. This ultimately saves more fuel. 

“So, we’ve already got a number of sustainability initiatives throughout the department that are assisting us long-term,” Schaeffer said. 

American Medical Response is a private company that operates 40 ambulances. It’s a 24-7 operation and they fill up twice a day. 

The company says the rise in fuel has had an adverse effect on their business, but not on those they serve. 

“We have seen the uptick affect our bottom line, but from an operational perspective, it hasn’t impacted any of our operations,” said Operations Manager Jack Busch. 

AMR works with various fuel suppliers nationwide and locally. 

“We have kind of a robust infrastructure. We’re a nationwide company and we plan for these types of events kind of the ebb and flows of fuel prices, and we are prepared for it,” Busch said.

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