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CNN weighs in on fire cuts

Submitted by on 1, July 7, 2009 – 5:45 am5 Comments

Alameda has had more than its 15 minutes in the national spotlight of late, and the Island’s latest star turn is in this CNN report on cuts to local fire departments.

According to the report, six percent of America’s cities have made cuts to their fire departments, which their reporters took as a sign of the depth of the current recession since public safety are typically the last departments to be cut.

Firefighters, including Alameda’s, say that the cuts are jeopardizing firefighters’ and residents’ safety. But department leaders across the country said, as they have said here, that the charges are untrue, and that they’re doing the best they can with what they have.

Locally, a measure that would require city leaders to provide a minimum level of fire staffing is headed for a November ballot, and a companion measure that will likely detail how to pay for the workers is being drafted by the city attorney’s office. The city has also sued to stop the firefighters’ ballot measure.


  • Concerned Bigtime says:

    If public safety is about two-thirds of the budget, are they hit 2/3? If not, is someone asking the city why not?

  • Dontbeso Concerned says:

    The reason all departments aren't treated the same is because they are not. You can't give the same weight to a firefighter to a city worker that cleans graffiti or trims trees, for example. As unfortunate as it may be, if you could save the salary of a firefighter by letting go tree trimmers for a couple years then I think that would generally be the prudent choice. Unless of course there are already too many overpaid firefighters to begin with..

    Anyhow, that is what council meetings, lobbying and elections are for. If you disagree then make your voice heard and lobby for the departments that you think should not be cut, but just applying a simple method of cutting everything equally I do not agree with.

  • jmasterson says:

    Were talking about people who save lives here. Why all the complaining. There should be no cuts to public/life safety. Period.

  • Vince says:

    No cuts, you have too be kidding, lets not trim those trees so one day they fall over, crush a car and then of course public safety personnel can save them, or how about close parks so kids have play in the street and get hit by a car. Better yet no crossing guards so that 6 year old going to school can take their chances crossing Lincoln or Encinal ave.

    Every department need to step up and reduce as much as they can, 9/11 has been over for years.

  • David M says:

    I would imagine there are plenty of qualified firefighters who would be willing to work for less than what we pay ours in salaries and benefits. In the real world, salaries and benefits are determined by supply and demand. Everyone knows there is a huge demand for these jobs because they do pay so well. That alone is proof that the pay is much higher than necessary creating the demand.

    Its not fair for the taxpayers to be paying excessive salaries when the same quality could be had for less money.

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