NORTH BRADDOCK, Pa. (KDKA) – Local volunteer fire departments could start to feel the impact of the Russia-Ukraine war at the gas pump.
It costs a pretty penny to refuel a fire truck right now. The North Braddock Volunteer Fire Department hasn’t felt the effects yet because they refueled before the gas prices really soared. They’re hoping their annual fish fry will help them afford fuel.
“It looks like it’s going to hit a crazy point. Right now, we are still good. We are still decent, but the increase of call volumes, that’s when you are going to start going through more gas, so down the road here, we might feel the effects of it,” said Jerome Sepesy, North Braddock Volunteer Fire Department assistant chief.
North Braddock volunteer firefighters are cooking up some extra cash with their annual fish fry on Fridays this Lenten season. The turnout has been good so far, with many community members coming through their doors to buy fish sandwiches. Some said they hope this helps the department extinguish any future financial issues.
“I hope so, yes. We’ll do anything we can to support them and help them out if we have to,” said JoAnn Morse, who lives in the area.
The department’s fire trucks run off diesel fuel and hold around 50 gallons. According to AAA, the average price for a gallon of diesel in Pennsylvania is $5.45. So it’ll cost the department $272.50 to refuel their trucks.
“That’ll put them in a bind if that happens, but maybe volunteers like us will have to chip in,” said nearby resident Gary Morse.
Assistant Fire Chief Sepesy said they’re prepared.
“We have emergency funds to cover if something does happen, but we just have to continue the fundraiser and hopefully people come and support to help offset all of that,” he said.
Sepsey said the soaring fuel prices will not affect how they respond to emergencies in the borough.
“Everything is going to still go, there is going to be no interruption in service,” Sepsey said. “No matter, we’ll be there, no matter what it takes, we’ll figure it out.”
Volunteers drive back and forth to the station in their personal cars when they respond to calls, which could affect their wallets.
The fish fry at the North Braddock Volunteer Fire Department is on Fridays 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.