Atlanta Fire Rescue Department has 14 ladder trucks such as this one. (AFRD)

The Atlanta City Council has approved $4.7 million to add six vehicles to the city’s Fire Rescue Department.

The $4.7 million approved at the council’s Jan. 17 meeting will be used to acquire three fire engine trucks and three ladder trucks. AFRD now has 31 fire engines and 14 ladder trucks.

The funding was requested by Mayor Andre Dickens in part to speed AFRD emergency response times as the city continues to grow.

“The expansion of our AFRD fleet will help decrease response times, increase our readiness and improve the overall safety of our communities,” Dickens said in a news release.

In 2021, the City Council approved legislation in support of the city’s plan to acquire additional apparatus after AFRD and the Office of Fleet Services established specific vehicles are required to guarantee the department will continually provide emergency services and meet the needs in Atlanta.

“This equipment is vital for the advancement of AFRD,” said AFRD Chief Rod Smith in the news release. 

Dickens last year announced a pay increase to recruit and retain Atlanta firefighters. AFRD had a 24% vacancy rate last year and has narrowed it to about 15%, said Atlanta Professional Firefighters President Nate Bailey during public comment at the Jan. 17 meeting.

The $4.7 million approval is in conjunction with the city’s $92.4 million investment in public safety, including $69.3 million for fire station renovations throughout the city.

Dyana Bagby

Dyana Bagby is a staff writer for Reporter Newspapers and Atlanta Intown.