Fire truck missed 10 calls while hanging city's holiday decorations

Some Medford, Massachusetts, firefighters are upset after their ladder truck was pulled out of service for hours to put up the city's holiday decorations.

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Medford Firefighter Eddie Buckley says he's shocked because the town is already down ladder trucks. One of them is out of service for repair so Boston Fire is loaning them one, leaving Medford with just one working ladder truck of its own.

"The truck was put out of service for about four hours to help put up the lights," said Buckley.

But even worse, while that was happening Buckley says the ladder truck missed calls that it should have been first to respond to. The city said there were eight medical calls and two accidents the ladder truck wasn't able to respond to, forcing stations from farther away to pick up the calls.

"That half of the city isn't covered by the ladder truck. So it delays a ladder truck response. If it's a car accident or a fire... it delays the response," said Buckley.

The state fire union blasted the city for doing it, telling WFXT, "In a fire, seconds not minutes matter, and by taking a fire truck off duty to hang holiday lights, the city is putting everyone in danger."

WFXT asked the mayor's office why it pulled the truck and crew out of service and what's the plan to replace the ladder trucks already down. The mayor told us, "I don't believe we put everyone in danger. We ask for assistance every year. We are one city and the fire chief made the call."

Firefighters like Buckley worry it's the wrong call and will happen again.

"If you're concerned like I am, call the mayor's office because this needs to be addressed," he said.

And if the Fire Department is asked to take down the decorations and again take a truck out of service, some firefighters here told us they may refuse and if so they could face suspension.

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