Local News

High Fuel Prices Hitting City Emergency Vehicle Fleets

Posted March 31, 2005

— With gas prices spiking recently, commuters aren't the only ones feeling the crunch.

As prices top out at over $2 a gallon, it costs around 90 bucks to fill up an ambulance.

Many government agencies are finding their fuel budgets are almost running on empty.

The Raleigh fire department's burning through its budget. It costs nearly $5,000 to fill up the fleet.

At the Johnston County Sheriff's office, fuel costs mean shelling out an extra $4,000 a month.

And the Wake County School district is spending $22,000 a day to keep the buses going.

Over a month, that's enough to hire 10 teachers.

"It's something we'll have to manage through, resources are tight and budgets are equally as tight," said Michael Evans, of the Wake County Schools. "It's going to cost us $3 million more this year to do business."

For state government vehicles, gas prices are so high it may soon be cheaper to fill the tanks with ethanol.

Many EMS departments may soon be in an emergency of their own.

If fuel costs keep going up, Garner EMS says it may have to forgo buying new equipment to fill the tanks of its ambulances.

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