ALEXANDER, Ark. – Some people are concerned after learning Alexander firefighters were left with no fire trucks over the weekend.

Rebecca Jones works at a gas station in town. She usually has comfort knowing help is just a call away, but now she questions why fire personnel were recently left with no fire trucks for more than 48 hours.

“Anything can happen at any given moment,” Jones said. “It is concerning because we’re a small town.”

Alexander Fire Department Chief Mark Ridgeway said he has five fire trucks in his fleet, but the last working one went down last week.

“We have parts issues. Everything is on back order,” Ridgeway said. “One truck was in the shop getting repairs, our oldest one blew a tire steering line coming back from a fire Friday, and guess Murphy’s law caught up to us.”

The fire chief said maintenance is routine on all the vehicles, but it’s an aging fleet and a new truck could cost an already tight budget of more than $1 million.

First responders from neighboring towns are being called in to help.

Volunteer firefighters from Shannon Hills were called to a woman not breathing around 6:20 a.m. Monday.

Records revealed rescue personnel arrived on scene in less than 10 minutes. Authorities said even if the Alexander fire trucks were operational, it would not have changed the outcome.

“If I’m not mistaken, that person was deceased before we got there,” Ridgeway said.

At the corner store, Jones believes it’s time for the city to start re-evaluating not only its priorities but its finances.

“It’s become an issue,” Jones said. “Should find some more revenue to be able to pay the employees and keep things going at the fire department so we can have that safety and security here in this town.”

Ridgeway fights back tears over the department’s aging fleet that he said is getting worse with each passing day.

“It’s my job. I hate putting citizens or anyone in danger,” Ridgeway said. “(I) can’t sleep, stressed out because I’m worried about my guys, the citizens.”

As of Monday evening, Alexander has one working fire engine, and the department is again taking calls. Ridgeway hopes to have the other fire trucks working again in the next few days.

Alexander Mayor Paul Mitchell said Monday this type of situation has never happened before but noted the city was never without fire protection because of its agreement with neighboring cities.

Mitchell said the trucks are older but still repairable and fixable.

“We do need fire trucks, but you have to prioritize things in the city,” he explained.

Mitchell said the city has attempted to get grants before to purchase new fire trucks, but the city was never awarded those grants.