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Central Pa. first responders forced to adjust budgets amid high gas prices

Some say from January to June of 2020, they spent just over $2,700 on fuel. Over that same period this year, the department spent $6,200.

DAUPHIN COUNTY, Pa. — Local first responders are changing their routines because of gas prices, even as prices start to decline.

Vital emergency services are making tough decisions about where money will be spent. 

John Fogg, the Chief of Colonial Park Fire Company in Lower Paxton Township, Dauphin County says he first noticed a difference while doing the 2022 budget. 

“The financial advisor that we use for the fire department said, 'Hey we’re going to have to evaluate fuel prices, it looks like we’re going to be higher than we have in previous years,'" said Fogg.

The fire department didn’t anticipate just how much higher it would be. They say from January to June of 2020, they spent just over $2,700 on fuel. That same period this year, the department spent $6,200 dollars.

“So, it’s more than doubled over the last two years for half a year of fuel usage," said Fogg. 

So, Colonial Park fire company made some adjustments. 

“Those budgetary concerns get addressed on the administrative side, where additional purchases for maybe a piece of equipment we would like to have, we’re not going to buy until we’re at the end of the budget year and there’s money left over," said Fogg. 

Other local police & fire departments are also feeling the pain at the pump. 

In Cumberland County, the Carlisle Police Department said due to the increase in fuel cost and the effect on the environment, it had to limit vehicle idle time as much as possible. 

In Franklin County, the Chambersburg Fire Department says it has been watching fuel prices closely. 

While it has impacted the budget, the Chambersburg fire department has continued normal daily operations with no adjustments.

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