Church Fire Rekindles Minneapolis Fire Department Staffing Debate

A three-alarm church fire Sunday night that injured five Minneapolis (MN) firefighters is reigniting debate over staffing and firefighter safety in the city.

Kare 11 ( reports that Mark Lakosky, the head of the city’s firefighters union, says reduced staffing is making things more dangerous for firefighters on the fireground.

Minneapolis Fire Chief John Fruetel admits that staffing numbers in the department have been on a downward trend for years. The department currently has 390 people on the full time roster, down from more than 450 a decade ago.

According to data collected by The National Fire Protection Association, the Minneapolis Fire Department isn’t at the suggested 90 percent rate of hitting the recommended nine minute response time. In 2010, the department achieved the 90 percent rate of a nine minute response time. Last year, the department only hit that time 79 percent of the time.


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