Union, city tell different stories involving Watertown’s heavy rescue truck

WWNY Union, city tell different stories involving Watertown’s heavy rescue truck

WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWNY) - For the head of Watertown’s firefighters union, it’s a prime example of what could go wrong without the heavy rescue truck.

Union President Dan Daugherty says firefighters responding to a medical call in a fire engine Tuesday may have been exposed to COVID-19.

Daugherty says the rescue truck would have handled that call, but the vehicle was taken off the streets by city council.

A second fire engine needed to come to decontaminate the first group.

Daugherty says that left the city with only one engine for about an hour.

But, Fire Chief Matt Timerman says that’s not out of the ordinary, even when the rescue truck was in rotation.

“It’s not unusual at all for us to have two fire engines out, or even two engines and the rescue. I don’t think that the public was in any danger yesterday. We could easily responded to the typical situations that we may. If we had a structure fire, we could’ve responded in an effective way,” he said.

Watertown Mayor Jeff Smith says Tuesday’s events support the idea that the fire department doesn’t need to go to all EMS calls, especially if it takes them out of service and puts them at risk.

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