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Pittsburgh Firefighters Red-Hot About City's Plans To Paint Engines Gray

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- As part of the city's plan to repaint its public safety vehicles, nine fire trucks are slated to turn gray.

In the past few months, the city has been repainting and detailing its entire fleet. Police cars, EMS ambulances and sanitation trucks are getting a makeover. Fire trucks are last, and the fire union is trying to draw the line.

Pittsburgh Police  Car
(Photo Credit: KDKA)

KDKA has learned the fire union will deliver a letter to Mayor Bill Peduto and Pittsburgh City Council on Monday asking that the fire engines stay red. In addition to upsetting tradition, the fire union is objecting to repainting the vehicles on financial and public safety grounds.

Union President Ralph Sicuro said the trucks will be taken out of service while a half-dozen other trucks are in the city garage for repairs. He contends that the gray color is a safety hazard because it will make the trucks less visible to the public.

Pittsburgh firetruck
(Photo Credit: KDKA)

Finally, at an estimated cost of $8,000 each, the nine trucks will cost a total of $72,000.

"Red is obviously a primary color for firefighting, and it's been a historical color for use to use over the years. But really look behind me, we have a fleet that needs maintenance. We need more vehicles. Why spend $72,000 to repaint something that is brand new? said Sicuro.

The entire city fleet is being repainted by order of Mayor Peduto, who wants all vehicles to be steel gray in honor of the city's steel-making past. The mayor's office said there is significant misinformation about the plans for the engines. The city said it is not changing the red base paint but may detail other parts of the truck.

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