MILFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — The Milford Fire Department is struggling due to equipment issues which may lead to delayed response times, according to fire officials.

“It’s a safety concern for the Milford residents, it’s a safety concern for our members, it’s a safety concern for Stratford or West Haven responding,” said Ryan LaGuardia, the president of Local 944.

The Local 944 Union told News 8 say the equipment issues are related to the town not having a maintenance division or flat budgets. Officials said the problems are not about manpower but tools in the toolbox they do not have.

Milford fire officials said the department lacks staffed ladder trucks because they are out of service.

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According to LaGuardia, roof operations can be delayed without aerial devices, which are integral to a fire attack.

“Without a 24-foot ladder, we may be lucky to get some of those people out of their homes in time,” LaGuardia said.

The video below is from News 8 at 10 p.m. on April 4, 2023.

The city is currently staffed with six fire engines with ladders, but they can’t reach the heights of the other trucks. Those who live in taller homes on the shoreline can be significantly impacted.

“This is an issue where people are dealing with possible weather and ocean what’s going on there,” said Cole Harbor, a Connecticut resident who owns a home along the shoreline.

The 944 Union said mutual aid companies from Stratford and West Haven are assisting and coming at least 10 minutes away if they’re available.

“It’s definitely nerve-racking or alarming because I’ve never been in that situation, but if I did need the fire department, it’s a scary situation, so you want them to respond quickly, said Danielle Rice, a Connecticut resident. “I think that it should be a priority and that if you have to raise taxes for that, I think they should do that.” 

News 8 reached out to the city of Milford for a comment about the budget and is waiting to hear back.