9 Calif. firefighter positions slashed, stations closed
Fire station staff levels will drop from 17 to 14; it has not been that low since the 1990s
By FireRescue1 Staff
CHICO, Calif. — Nine firefighters will be laid off and several fire stations will be closed after a city council voted against funding Tuesday.
The decision comes after the department’s $5.3 million SAFER grant expired, reported Chico ER. The council’s decision will result in the lay-off of four additional firefighters; five firefighters were laid off in January.
Chico Fire Chief Bill Hack said fire station staffing will drop from 17 to 14; it has not been that low since the 1990s. Chief Hack, who was in favor of maintaining staffing at its current level, said having more firefighters on staff increases public safety.
Instead of paying around $350,000 for the nine positions for the rest of the year, the council said the city will pay between $30,000 and $40,000 in a one-time expenditure for accrued leave.
The council will review staffing levels in the spring.