Most firetrucks in Latvia are over 25 years old

The average age of the State Fire and Rescue Service (VUGD) firetruck fleet is over twenty years, many even thirty and fifty years, Latvian Television reported August 15.

There are currently around 100 special vehicles aged between 25 and 50, and 95 road tankers that have been in use for more than thirty years in the VUGD. The commander of the Jaunjelgava station Artūrs Grikpēdis said:

“Vehicles break very often, especially during the hot summer periods, it is constant that vehicles need medical treatment, so to speak.”

The equipment is modern, but to take it with the team it is necessary to build additional shelves and leave people behind to make space in the old vehicles. The old fleet is one of the biggest problems in the VUGD, and the EUR 59.9 million planned for investments over the next five years is just a patch in a huge hole.

“By this amount, at least from previous experience, we could buy around 170 cars and really ensure that the first response doesn't decrease. We are not talking about development,” said out Deputy Chief of VUGD, General Intars Zitāns.

It is planned that the new vehicles will reach cities with bigger loads, while those currently used in cities will be delivered to remote areas. According to the management of the VUGD, in some stations it is not even possible to enter with and maintain a 21st-century vehicle. The hope is to set up emergency management centres in order to address infrastructure problems, but how many and where is yet unknown.

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