A new report calls for a net decrease of 59 positions at the Grand Rapids (MI) Fire Department.
mlive.com reported (http://bit.ly/O2QAfV) that the International City/County Management Association (ICMA) projects that the job cuts could save $6.7 million per year. Fire Chief Laura Knapp expressed disappointment with the report, while Bill Smith, president of the firefighters’ union, says the city should look for a refund on the study.
Among the report’s recommendations:
- a “greater reliance” on quick-response vehicles, to be deployed in place of fire engines, which could save $2.2 million per year
- elimination of three medical-response units, which could save $2.5 million per year
- transition to a “demand-based” staffing, which could save $1.9 million per year
The current financial crisis has severely impacted fire departments and other public safety agencies around the nation. For more about the difficulties faced by firefighters on the front lines when houses are closed and staffing is cut, read the series, “Inside a Budget Fight”. Also, consider Are We Short-Staffed or Just Short-Sighted? and First-In Tactics: Dealing with Limited Staffing.