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Northeast Ohio first responders impacted by rise in gas prices

Several local agencies told 3News the rise in gas prices has severely affected their budget

PARMA, Ohio — The rise in gas prices across the country has impacted Northeast Ohio's first responders and their budgets.

Geauga County Sheriff Scott Hildenbrand told 3News the agency had used more than half of their fuel budget before the month of June started.

On Wednesday, average gas prices in Ohio eclipsed $5 per gallon.

The Parma Fire Department needs their vehicles operating while at emergencies, which is affecting their budget.

"We need the trucks to run to pump water at a fire, we need the ambulances to run to transport that person to the hospital," public information officer for the Parma Fire Department TJ Martin said.

Martin told 3News the agency can't risk turning their vehicles off because of the possibility that they won't start back up. 

"We'd be in a bigger predicament than we were if we shut the vehicle off so our vehicles need to run at all times," said Martin.

The Geauga County Sheriff's Office uses fuel cards for their vehicles, and look out for a deal at the pump.

"If we find one that's inexpensive then we put that word out and say this is a good place to get fuel because it's cheaper than some of the other ones," says Sheriff Hildenbrand.

Sheriff Hildenbrand told 3News that deputies are doing more stationary patrols, but will remain active at emergencies. The goal is to use less fuel to save the budget. Other way the sheriff's office is working to save fuel are shutting their vehicles off, without the need to turn off emergency lights.

Sheriff Hildenbrand says the rise in prices are an ongoing issue. Hildenbrand told 3News that they may need to ask county commissioners for additional funding.

The Parma Fire Department may have to put off purchasing new equipment because of the rise in gas prices affecting their budget.

Overall, the agencies will remain active in their communities, but the prices at the pump continue to be a problem.

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