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Stockton Will Spend Money On Fire Department Despite Bankruptcy

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A federal judge in Sacramento has confirmed Stockton’s right to spend $1.9 million to lease four new fire engines, despite owing creditors in a bankruptcy proceeding.

The city’s Fire Chief Jeff Piechura says half his fleet of trucks and engines are unreliable in an emergency because they are 20 years old or older.

“When people call 911 they’re already having a bad day.  We don’t want to make it worse by having equipment break down,” said Piechura.

The chief says breakdowns cause a delay in response times because back-up units have to come from other stations.  Some broken parts on older units have to be fabricated adding to delays in getting units back on line.

His department signed a lease contract before the city filed for bankruptcy but the makers of the four fire engines wanted assurances from the judge that the city could indeed spend the money and would be obligated to pay.

The confirmation of the deal means the four engines could be delivered and operational by the end of April.

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