A Mount Vernon firefighter was on top of a ladder when it bent, twisted and retracted while he was trying to open the roof to ventilate a fire over the summer, firefighters union president Kevin Holt said.
The 25-year-old ladder truck was immediately taken out of service, and the city comptroller's inaction is preventing its replacement from joining the department, Holt and Mayor Shawyn Patterson-Howard said.
"This is about the safety of our city, our residents and firefighters," Patterson-Howard said in an email. "We are operating with equipment that is well past its useful life ... We have a new truck waiting for delivery. HUD wired $1,049,000 to the City of Mount Vernon in mid-August which the comptroller has failed to release." The mayor said the comptroller's office was provided with contracts, vouchers and all supporting documents. She said she requested a meeting with City Comptroller Deborah Reynolds to finalize the purchase of this equipment "to no avail."