Bill would fund millions in new fire equipment for Atlanta after reports of downed equipment

Councilman Dustin Hillis introduced legislation at the Atlanta City Council meeting that would fund millions in new fire equipment.

Hillis's measure late Monday afternoon is over and above a commitment made to the councilman to expand fire department purchases.

All this comes amid reports from firefighters that their engines and ladder trucks are in need of repair or flat out replacement. 

Virginia-Highland neighbors saw an example for themselves during a recent house fire. Everyone got out, but the fire which started in a wall and went up into the attic, was deemed a total loss.

As firefighters got to the blaze, equipment failed. Neighbors watched as tow trucks had to be called to move some of the disabled apparatus.

"We had some challenges," Chief Rod Smith said in answer to a query from Hillis. "I can tell you that we will be doing more to purchase additional equipment and get on top of this."

Hillis wants to go beyond a financial commitment made by the Bottoms administration.

The councilman's bill calls for up to $7 million additional dollars to be tapped from the city's reserve fund for new apparatus. 

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