Reno to lose 35 firefighters & 3 stations
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The City of Reno will soon lose 35 firefighters and close down 3 stations. The news came Tuesday morning when the department announced it had not received a federal grant.
This was the third year that Reno applied for the SAFER grant, which is given to departments across the country to bolster their forces. Most recently, the City asked for enough funding to sustain 50 positions, approximately 12 million dollars.
City Manager Andrew Clinger says they've been ready in case this did happen.
"We have a plan that minimizes the impact to the citizens of Reno and still supports our Council's priority of safe and livable neighborhoods."
The cuts will go into effect in July and will be based on seniority; basically, the first in are the first out. The two stations that are currently being closed on a regular basis are on Somersett Parkway and Skyline Boulevard. Those will be shut down indefinitely along with Station 10, which is on North Virginia Street, just past Parr Boulevard
Chief Michael Hernandez says two stations near the University will cover for that one on North Virginia.
"Station 10 averages somewhere over about a thousand calls per year in respect to the Reno fire system. They take up over 3 percent of the call system. We are confident with our current staffing, it'll have a minimal impact on that district."
Hernandez says they're going to make every effort to help out the firefighters who will be losing their jobs.
"Anytime we lose a member of our organization, it is a traumatic time for the organization, so we are working with the labor groups. We are working to make sure we have the continuity of service for our citizens."
The department will also restructure how it staffs some stations and may need to scale back some senior positions. The announcement comes amid initial talks about possibly consolidating the city and county fire departments.