Posted 4:29 PM 6/18/2012 : Tucson Fire Department has new plan to tackle budget setbacks
TUCSON - Tucson Fire says they've lost 56 positions over the past few years. At the end of this month, they're expecting another 33 staff members to retire. While they're planning to fill some of the retiree positions, it will take some time.
Barrett Baker, from Tucson Fire, says emergency response time can suffer in a situation like this. He showed News 4 Tucson a color coded map of how the times have gotten slower in certain areas.
"With the budget setbacks we've had over the past several years, and with losing the personnel, we've actually gotten into this stage, which is yellow. Yellow is bad."
To help, Tucson Fire is shuffling their resources from less busy stations to the ones that need them most.
Currently, one ladder truck and four staff members are set to be moved from Station 20.
"There will be two people at Station 8 to help them with the amount of calls they're running, and then another unit that will run alpha calls will be moved to a midtown station," Baker continued.
According to Tucson Fire, this will not negatively impact the citizens who rely on Station 20. They say there are enough other ladder engines and firefighters to service that area.
Resident Nick Ochoa, who lives in the area, has mixed feelings.
"It's good we're helping out the people who need it more, but it does concern me maybe that if we do have a big deal going on over here, that they're not going to be well staffed to take care of it."
Ivan Sauber, who lives near Station 8, says the news comes a relief since he says the neighborhood keeps expanding.
"The more help we can get, the better we'll be."
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