First responders not letting ongoing pain at the pump slow them down

While the added fuel costs can cause budget challenges for first responders, it isn't affecting their day-to-day operations.

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A first responder at Sanford Ambulance getting ready to hit the road.
Mike McGurran / WDAY News
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FARGO — Drivers are feeling sticker shock every time they fill up these days. Gas prices are hovering around $4.69 per gallon in the metro area, and at least one station is selling gas for $4.79 per gallon.

"We just gotta grin and bare it," said Sanford Ambulance Senior Director Tim Meyer.

Meyer says it's been hard to ignore the surging prices. A stand ambulance at FM Ambulance can hold up to 40 gallons of gas. That could be as much as $188 every time they go to the pump with the current prices.

"May 21, and May 22, we've had about a 72% increase in the cost of fuel," said Meyer. "So last year, we paid $25,000 in May for gas, and this year was $43,000. So (a) huge jump."

It does impacts budgeting for Sanford Ambulance, which could potentially cause them to hold off on future projects and investments. Although Meyer said it's not at that point yet, at the end of the day, it's not affecting its day-to-day operations.


"When people call 911, they have a reasonable expectation that services will come, and we're part of that," Meyer said.

West Fargo Fire Department Chief Dan Fuller is also dealing with the pain at the pump. Their fire trucks can carry up to 55 gallons of diesel. Filling a whole tank would cost nearly $300.

"Trying to figure out next year's budget has been very difficult," said Fuller. "I think we've went up about 40% in gas and diesel estimated for next year."

With the price being so unpredictable, it can be a challenging process. But Fuller says the services provided by first responders are far too valuable to even consider cutbacks.

"It's all absolutely needed," said Fuller. "When it's needed, it's needed right then, so we gotta maintain it all."

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