SALT LAKE CITY — Salt Lake City-area fire departments spent Thursday distancing themselves from a Trump-supporting fire truck seen driving around the city ahead of last night's vice presidential debate.
With Trump flags waving and horn blaring, the truck was seen (and heard... loudly) near the University of Utah campus ahead of the debate.
Many residents were confused, wondering how city- or county-run fire departments were allowed to publicly support a candidate running for office. Some even called out the departments on social media for crossing a line of impartiality.
However, the fire truck is a privately-owned vehicle and does not represent any department. As long as it does not operate its emergency lights on public roads, it is perfectly legal.
Departments are now making sure the public does not connect the Trump truck with them.
The Unified Fire Department tweeted out this morning that the truck is not theirs, adding "Fire apparatus are clearly marked, so community members can clearly identify who we are representing."
Meanwhile, the Salt Lake City Fire Department also tweeted out a statement, saying "This vehicle IS NOT among the Salt Lake City Fire Department Fleet. Rest assured our apparatus are clearly marked and staffed by professional firefighters in uniform who are proudly serving you."
FOX 13's Lauren Steinbrecher shared video of the truck on Wednesday night, clearly stating the truck was not a legitimate emergency vehicle.
Lauren's tweet drew the praise of SLC Mayor Erin Mendenhall on Thursday.
"Thank you for stating that this vehicle is not among the apparatus of @slcfire." tweeted Mendenhall. "Salt Lake City Fire Department apparatus are clearly marked and those operating the vehicles are in uniform. State law and City policy state City equipment cannot be used for political purposes."
This truck does not belong to Unified Fire, or any other department in the valley. Fire apparatus are clearly marked, so community members can clearly identify who we are representing. pic.twitter.com/YHSg4pHSJt— Unified Fire (@FireAuthority) October 8, 2020
To clarify recent public concern. This vehicle IS NOT among the Salt Lake City Fire Department Fleet. Rest assured our apparatus are clearly marked and staffed by professional firefighters in uniform who are proudly serving you. #clarification #slcfire pic.twitter.com/6byTs4ckMm— Salt Lake City Fire Department (@slcfire) October 8, 2020