LEBANON, TN (WKRN) – Should firefighters be able to use the department fire engines to stop at the grocery store or a restaurant to get something to eat?
That’s what Lebanon City Council is debating and the fire department is not happy about it.
Council members will vote on a resolution Tuesday night that would stop firefighters from using fire engines to grocery shop or eat at restaurants while on the job. It reads, “Fire Department personnel are expected to bring with them any food items when they report for work.”
“We average five to six calls a day. One of those calls we should be able to get a meal,” said former Lebanon firefighter Chip Vanetta.
Vanetta worked for the department for 31 years and says, he’s advocating for the department now that this resolution is on the table.
“We spend as much time at the department as we do at home,” said Vanetta. “If we’re already out on a call, why wouldn’t we be able to stop at a restaurant or grocery store and get our groceries?”
Councilwoman Kathy Warmath is sponsoring the resolution. She said over the phone she’s not necessarily against firefighters stopping by the grocery store to grab a bite but said there needs to be a policy in place so use of the fire engines to run personal errands isn’t abused.
Warmath told News 2 the resolution as it stands is just a conversation starter. She hopes to continue the conversation at the meeting Tuesday at 5:55 p.m. at City Hall. There will be a public hearing, which all are invited to attend.