JAMES ISLAND, S.C. (WCBD) – The James Island Public Service District Fire Department is cutting costs as gas prices continue to rise.

According to Fire Chief Chris Seabolt, the department has already maxed out of its $20,000 fuel budget for the fiscal year which runs from July to June.

Money that would’ve been used for extra training opportunities like conferences, will now go to diesel.

“For example, there’s a fire chiefs conference in San Antonio, Texas in August and we’re not going to be going to that,” said Seabolt.

According to the chief, they were hoping to purchase new personal protective gear this year, but that will have to wait. The equipment they wanted to replace still has about two years left of the 10-year life span.

Meanwhile, the department has also stopped all non-essential travel which includes trips to the grocery store. Those trips would normally be used to stock the department’s kitchen since firefighters work 24-hour shifts.

This comes as GasBuddy reports the national average price of gas has surpassed $5.00 per gallon, for the first time ever.

Despite the start of a new fiscal year just ahead, the chief predicts they will be in the same position because they didn’t plan for such high gas prices when they finalized the budget a few months ago.