East Hartford Fire Chief Heated Over Eversource Response

East Hartford Fire Chief John Oates wants to know why Eversource needed three hours Thursday morning to remove a tree limb that fell on one of its fire trucks.

The limb fell on to the truck while crews were on the scene of a house fire.

The firefighters all walked away without any injuries, but question why they couldn’t walk away sooner. 

Both the East Hartford Fire Department and Eversource have records indicating the call for the downed tree came through just after 5 a.m.

"By 6:09 a.m., our records show that our crew was there at the site where the tree fell on the truck," Eversource spokesperson Mitch Gross said.

But the fire department said the crew that showed up around 6 a.m. didn’t have the resources to move the tree and that the proper line crew didn’t arrive until much later.

Oats said the tree didn’t come off of the truck until nearly four hours after the initial call at 9:38 a.m.

Gross said the three-hour timeframe was necessary in order to make the area safe.

"Something like that impacts our ability to provide emergency services to the entire community should have a higher priority than some of the other things," Oates said.

That sense of priority for a utility company, said Gross, can only go so far.

"We cannot respond to situations like police, fire, or ambulance," Gross said. "We’re not emergency vehicles. We get there as quickly and as safely as we can."

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