KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Those who rely on fuel for their job including first responders and trucking companies are starting to feel impacts the gas prices increase.
In an emergency, Rural Metro isn’t thinking about gas prices.
“I think the one difference between what we do as an emergency agency and what I may do as a member of my family is that we don’t have a choice. We have to respond to the emergency and non-emergency needs of our citizens and we’re committed to doing so,” said Assistant Fire Chief Rick Herrell.
They’ll have to adjust their budget to meet the prices at the pump.
“We budget right now around $30,000 a month for fuel. And so we’re not sure exactly what those impacts are going to be moving forward,” said Herrell.
Rural Metro relies heavily on private funding from the community.
“Rural Metro Fire is supported by the citizens of Knox County who subscribe to be members of our fire department,” Herrell explained.
They fuel around 35 to 40 trucks a day.
Herrell added, “It may be a 20-gallon tank, some of our trucks can hold much more than that.”
Herrell said if gas prices were to continue to climb, the impact could result in taking money budgeted for areas like training and putting it toward fuel.
Companies like Axle Logistics are watching prices closely, too.
“We’re a third-party logistics company,” said Justin Wandell. “We’re the intermediary between shippers and manufactures and then we represent small fleets to carry goods from point A to point B.”
They’re worried that if prices continue to increase some of their partners may be in danger.
“The big concern for us and for our carrier partners, some of the smaller fleets and trucking companies that are on their own, they’re more apt to bankruptcy in this time and cash flow issues,” said Wandell.
The highest recorded average price of diesel according to AAA was in 2008 at $4.73. The current average is $4.72