The Johannesburg Emergency Services (EMS) says it is working to replace a fleet of about 104 vehicles and has put a contingency plan in place to make up for the shortfall of fire engines.
The city says its service provider has been unable to supply them with new vehicles after it went on business rescue.
EMS spokesperson Robert Mulaudzi admits that this has affected their response time.
Most of our vehicles are old, they spend more time at the workshops being repaired instead of being on the road servicing our residents. However, we have come up with a plan to try and place our vehicles strategically while we look at replacing the aging fleet.— Robert Mulaudzi, EMS spokesperson
The situation actually came about when our service provider went on business rescue, now we have had to start again with the process of procuring new vehicles.— Robert Mulaudzi, EMS spokesperson
In terms of the response time, to be honest, it has affected our response times. Because of the shortages we now have to take maybe 20 [minutes]to half an hour to respond to emergencies, but we want to reassure of residents that we are doing our best to replace all our vehicles.— Robert Mulaudzi, EMS spokesperson
He says vehicles have been strategically placed to service each district.
We make sure that every single district has got vehicles which will be able to service a specific area. For instance in Soweto we have got four fire stations, at least two fire stations have got a vehicle which can service the area. Yes we will have a challenge in terms of responding maybe later than what was excepted but you will definitely get the service.— Robert Mulaudzi, EMS spokesperson
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This article first appeared on 702 : Joburg EMS admits to shortage of fire engines in the city