Unions: Ladder Truck Shortage Is 'Unacceptable'

Boston firefighter union officials are criticizing the department's decision to have only a pickup truck and a ladder truck in one of Boston's most populated neighborhoods.

Neither vehicle is equipped with water to fight fires.

Mechanical issues in many of the city's ladder trucks have exhausted the emergency back up fleet.

Boston Police Department Spokesman Steve MacDonald says the fleet has been undergoing inspection after a Boston firefighter died last month when the ladder truck he was riding in crashed into an apartment building.

"You know, what the death of Lieutenant Kelley brought to the forefront is just the need to be vigilant in maintenance, to make sure everything is safe for the firefighters to use. That's what we're doing right now, and unfortunately it's just taking some time to do that."

Union officials call the situation "unacceptable."

This program aired on February 2, 2009. The audio for this program is not available.