HOUSTON FIRE DEPARTMENT RESPONDS AFTER REPORTS OF FIREFIGHTERS USING VEHICLE REPORTED FLOODED DURING HARVEY
KHOU 11, April 5, 2018
HOUSTON – When Hurricane Harvey flooded Houston, among the thousands of vehicles made victims of the water, the Houston Fire Department lost 28.
That number includes SUVs, boats, and one reserve fire engine.
The 28 vehicles were all listed as completely lost to the storm, filed with FEMA, the department is waiting on money to replace the units.
Interestingly enough, KHOU 11 News found that a formally flooded fire truck has been running calls in the city for months. Sources confirmed the truck was in service as recently as Wednesday.
Houston Fire Department Assistant Chief Ruy Lozano, who oversees the department’s fleet, blames the truck's return to service on a mix up.
Lozano said the department’s shop repaired the truck, it’s electrical system damaged by the flood water, and sent the fire engine back into service.
When KHOU 11 News started asking questions, the fire department sent a statement admitting that 10 of the 28 flooded units had actually been repaired, and that the department was changing it’s filing with FEMA.
A spokesperson for HFD told KHOU 11 News, “Fleet Management Department has had to repair some flood impacted units that should have been sent to salvage. Of those units, one was a reserve (second line) fire engine, the others include boats, sedans and SUV in our support fleet. This is not ideal, but until we receive suitable replacements, there are no other options.”
Thursday, Lozano said the reserve engine had been permanently removed from service, sighting continued mechanical issues.
The department says it hasn’t seen a dime from FEMA to replace the damaged trucks.
Editors Note: Kudos to the HFD for going back to the damaged fleet and getting one of the damaged trucks to run. HFD lost a lot of equipment during the flood and FEMA should have replaced it by now. Nothing to see here folks. Just HFD doing what they have to do.