Gas shortage hitting emergency responders

By: Gene Petriello Email
By: Gene Petriello Email

September 25, 2008

THROUGHOUT THE CSRA --- The gas shortage is hitting our area harder than experts thought it would. But, it's not only hitting us. Local cops and emergency responders are making some changes to their teams, too.

Line them up and fill them up, if you can.

"Horrible. I want to call it mass hysteria for gas," says Heather Smith.

"We'd like to have some gasoline, please! Thank you," says Camille McCracken.

It's not just you, cops need gasoline too.

"We're having difficulties finding gas," says Richmond Co. Sheriff's Office Col. Gary Powell.

"I'd love to see them get some priority and get gasoline as soon as possible," says Camille.

Col. Powell says stations are putting aside gas for deputies, and they've even taken four deputies off the road.

"They're answering phone calls and taking reports that can be taken on the phone," says Col. Powell.

Carpooling is now becoming a popular choice, too. Investigators in Aiken County are doing it and people in training in North Augusta are also carpooling. The County is also looking at handling more calls on the phone whenever possible.

"We had two ambulances stuck on my road this morning," says Camille. "I asked one of the drivers how are you doing on gas. He said, just like everybody else."

In fact, some Gold Cross Drivers in Columbia County are having to drive three times as far to get gas, so they're limiting the amount of non-essential travel.

Mail's another biggie and a US Postal Driver tells us, they were told to get gas first thing earlier this week. Those postal drivers line up for gas with us, at the same stations.

"We know there's gasoline out there. The American public is not stupid," says Camille.

Richmond County says they're new system of moving the four deputies started last week and they've seen about 200 calls. They are looking for it to be more successful, but they say they expected to have more calls by now.

They are also looking at a website where you can report minor crimes -- such as lawn mowers stolen that need to be reported for insurance purposes -- on line, instead of on the phone or by sending a deputy out to fill out a report.


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