Raising gas prices could impact emergency responders - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Raising gas prices could impact emergency responders

By Amanda Hanson - bio | email feedback

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - The high cost of gas effects everyone, but especially those who spend a majority of their working hours on the streets.

"A drastic increase in fuel prices the first quarter of the year, will certainly have an impact on the budget as a whole," says Jonesboro Police Chief Michael Yates. He says for 2011, the department projected fuel costs to average $3.00 per gallon. Right now he is not too concerned.

"We buy so much fuel. We buy it in bulk rates. So it's really not as expensive as what you might see in the retail market," says Yates.

If gas prices continue to go up, it could force the department to make some adjustments. "We would start by suspending the fuel use for off duty employment. Secondly after that, we might start reeling in the take home vehicle program too," says Yates.

Over at Medic One, President Ryan Kibler says the company budgeted around $3.25 per gallon for the cost of fuel for 2011. But even now, they're already taking steps to save.

"Ambulances do not get good gas mileage. They get about 12 miles per gallon. We are conscious every morning to make sure our crews know where to fill up where the prices are best," says Kibler.

He says on average, the company uses up to 12,000 gallons a month. So when prices go up, it adds up! "For every ten cents it goes up at the pump, it hits our bottom line a thousand dollars a month," says Kibler. He just hopes the bump in gas prices is short-lived.

"I think most companies budgeted $3.40 or less. So I think this could be really challenging times for all businesses in 2011," says Kibler.

To find the cheapest gas near you, just visit our Pump Patrol. Just click on the business tab at the top of the home page.

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