Sac Fire: Budget Costs Force Response Times Up
The Sacramento Fire Department says starting Saturday, its response times will go up. It’s cutting costs by shutting down one fire engine at a time on a rotating basis.
Friday, July 25, 2008
The closures are a direct result of Sacramento’s financial woes. The city council approved cuts to every department last month to balance a $58 million budget deficit. And as fire department spokesman Captain Jim Doucette says:
Doucette: “It’s really the only way the fire department has to come up with the money that the city needs to be saved.”
So starting Saturday, Sacramento will close a fire engine at a single station for 48 hours – and rotate that closure among nine stations spread throughout the city. Stations with only one engine won’t be affected. Response times will go up, and Doucette says the department’s nervous.
Doucette: “We are worried about it – not only for our own safety but the safety of the public that we serve. We all hope and pray that nothing bad happens.”
Doucette says the cuts will likely last until the economy gets better and the city’s budget situation improves.