The Perrysburg Fire Department is reducing the minimum amount of firefighters on duty at one time in an attempt to keep the overtime budget in check.
Union representatives say they are not happy with the decision. This is the second time within the past year they've decided to cut back, reducing the minimum amount of firefighters responding to emergencies from five to four.
How does this impact you? According to union representatives it takes five firefighters to respond to a structure fire. In addition, if there is an emergency and more calls keep coming in, other firefighters may have to be called in from their houses to the respond to your emergency.
According to the chief Monday May 12 there were only four firefighters on duty for the half of the day. He says this will not be an everyday occurrence. Union leaders say firefighters need to be fully staffed, ready to respond to emergencies any day and time of the week.
"We're concerned that a pattern is starting to form here and that the city is not adequately funding the fire department. It's a growing city. And with that growth comes the need for service," said Michelle Sullivan, Attorney, IAFF Local 3331.
The budget is around $400,000 but the chief says he can't budget for every issue that comes up. He says this is a practice they will continue to use as necessary when they need to keep that budget in check.