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October Roundtable: Minimum Engine Staffing Levels

When I came on the job, we did not have minimum staffing levels. On occasion, engines would run with three, and trucks would occasionally run with two. Back then, Toledo averaged 120 firefighters on duty. When I retired a few years ago, staffing was different. The union had negotiated strict minimum staffing levels--four on an engine and three on trucks. We also had a minimum daily staffing level of 103 firefighters and officers. If staffing fell below 103, a firefighter was brought back on overtime.  Nationally, I believe the average is fewer than four firefighters for engines and three for trucks. National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 1710, Standard for the Organization and D...

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