PFLUGERVILLE, Texas - As the fight against COVID-19 continues, the cost to fight the fight goes up. The Pflugerville Fire Department reports they are spending a lot of money in unbudgeted costs.
The department also does EMS work for the area and spent $200,000 in a little more than three months all related to COVID-19.
“There’s nothing I can compare it too,” said PFD chief Ron Moellenberg. “That’s not only in personnel, it’s equipment cost for PPE. We had to buy a couple of special units to decontaminate ambulances so it’s been a whole wrath of costs."
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Moellenberg said their department has reserve funds for handling disasters however the COVID-19 pandemic is different. “It’s the business of the fire department to be prepared for disaster, we’ve weathered the storm for flood events other weather events fire and flu epidemics but gain nothing this long-standing and the uncertainty of the future,” said Moellenberg.
While their department is still in a good position now, it’s the uncertainty of the future and COVID-19 that is worrying. If things stay the same, Moellenberg said they could be out of money in four years.
To help curb the costs, Moellenberg said they are now working on ways to help recover the costs. “Through grant submissions and request for reimbursement through federal programs,” he said.
Moellenberg said they are doing what they can but worry about a potential second wave, especially if it lasts through the upcoming flu season.
According to the department, all these unbudgeted costs have not impacted their emergency response in either fire or EMS.
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