Are city fire fighters now in the locksmith business? -

Are city fire fighters now in the locksmith business?

ST. LOUIS ( -- A viewer sent two photos to News 4 that show three fire fighters working to open a man’s truck after the driver had locked his keys inside.

We discovered the fire crew even drove over in a pumper truck to help the man.  While it’s certainly a nice gesture, is this a good use of tax payer money?

“This is clearly not a good use of public resources,” Public Safety Director Eddie Roth said.  “Our policy provides that it’s only vehicles where the engine is running and the keys have been locked in.  Now look, you’ve got to have some latitude to do some good, but if you’re able-bodied and it’s not an emergency situation, you need to call a locksmith.”

Fire Chief Dennis Jenkerson tells News 4 that the fire fighters drove the $500,000 pumper truck in case they would have to run out on a fire call.  Jenkerson says fire fighters will help anytime a car is running with the keys locked inside because it’s a potential fire hazard.  That was not the case this time.

Director Roth said it shouldn’t happen again.


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