Nebraska volunteer firefighters face rising fuel prices

OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) – The Irvington Volunteer Fire Department is busy.

First responders here have responded to 193 calls so far this year. Each of these calls requires fuel and lots of fuel.

“What is it right now? Four dollars and eighty cents for diesel and we all use diesel trucks,” said Frank Holmes, Irvington Volunteer Fire Dept.

Frank Holmes is the treasurer of the Irvington Volunteer Fire Department. He is responsible for ensuring that the budget stays on track.

The budget of a volunteer fire department is nowhere near as large as the budget of a city fire department.

He says the ministry is handing out more and more money to pay for fuel as prices continue to rise.

“Every month we run about $800 or $900 in fuel costs. Now, with the cost going up, we’re probably going to be running between $1,000 and $1,100,” Holmes said.

It takes a lot of fuel to run ambulances and fire trucks. That’s why every time they fill up, the price adds up quickly.

“Rescue crews are probably getting maybe nine, ten mpg. The platform behind me, the ariel probably has four.

The amount of fuel consumed by the team here depends on the call.

All emergency vehicles should be left running when responding to a call, but Holmes says they don’t use much fuel when vehicles are left idling.

They consume the most fuel just to answer the call and for this service that can be a lot.

“Our area from here is Army or Highway 133 to the county line and then 60th to about 132nd,” Holmes said.

Holmes says they are willing to accept the current price of fuel. They have extra padding in the budget for things like this.

But if the price at the pump continues to climb, they may have to make some sacrifices.

“When costs go up, well, when you have to take money from somewhere else and put it in fuel,” Holmes said.

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