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City Council Punts Possible Fire Dept. Staffing Changes Until June

The Davis City Council is considering reducing the number of firefighters on each fire engine company, from four to three.

After hours of discussion Tuesday night, the Davis City Council voted to wait until it is considering a budget for the next fiscal year to decide whether its fire engines will be staffed with fewer firefighters.

The city council sought to save money by changing the number of firefighters at each station: currently each station has at least four staff members at all times. The proposal being discussed would reduce that number to three people on each engine unit, and added two firefighters to a designated rescue unit at the Fifth Street Station 31.

It would save $360,000 a year. 

The council's unanimous vote Tuesday will include the discussion in with talks about next year's budget; a decision must be made by June 30, and a formal check-in on the process will be held May 14. The budget is scheduled to first be introduced on April 9.

Interim Fire Chief Scott Kenley said Tuesday night that the proposed change in fire staffing wouldn't affect the department's response to rescuing people trapped in burning buildings, but it could slow the response to fight fires in empty structures.

Check back with Davis Patch for more on this issue as it develops

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Dt March 06, 2013 at 05:56 PM
Disappointing, I am still confident this change will be made. It needs to be made. Not sure why the council was not ready to pull the trigger. We will have many more tough choices ahead, the council needs to have the stomach to make them!
SR March 06, 2013 at 08:48 PM
I am uncomfortable with any emergency responders cutbacks being made. Tough decisions may have to be made but they can be made in other places.
Dt March 06, 2013 at 11:37 PM
Where specifically? It is easy to say cut something else, but the reality is that a lot of cuts need to be made. All they are asking the fire union to do is go from 4 per truck to 3 per truck (as is the standard in plenty of cities). Unfortunately due to some bad decisions in the past we have a bloated and unfunded pension liability. We cannot continue to kick the can down the road. A credible proposal has been made and it should be acted upon. All departments are going to share in these cutbacks. The fire union has just been using scare tactics to protect their pay and benefits. We need to stand up to their scare tactics and get this done!
Roberto March 07, 2013 at 07:40 PM
The fire fighters union will do anything they can to protect their union. The city pays dearly for the services and far too much of our money goes to their retirement fund. The only department that can match it is the Police Dept. We need to cut back on services any time it's prudent. The current cutbacks ARE prudent.

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