Reno to lose 35 firefighters and 3 stations

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Reno to lose 35 firefighters and 3 stations

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Reno City Manager Andrew Clinger and Chief Michael Hernandez discuss the upcoming cuts to the department.

This is the third year that Reno applied for a federal grant through FEMA, but this time Reno did not make the cut.

It had asked for enough funding to sustain 50 positions, approximately 12 million dollars.

City Manager Andrew Clinger says they've known from the start that staking so much on this source of funding isn't a good idea and have tried to cut down their reliance, but there's always a possibility this day would come.

"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 at the beginning of July and will be based on seniority-- first in, first out. The city will also close down, or what's called "brown out," three stations. Two of them are already closed on a regular basis. One on Somersett Parkway and another on Skyline Boulevard. A new one will be added to that list: Station 10 on North Virginia street, just past Parr Boulevard.

Chief Michael Hernandez says response times may go up by 2 or even 4 minutes in some areas, but for the most part they'll be able to cover that district with other stations.

"Station 10 averages somewhere over about a thousand calls per year. With respect to the Reno fire response system, they take up just over three percent of the call volume generated in our system. We are confident that with our existing staffing, we will have a minimal effect to that district. "

Hernandez says the department will restructure how it staffs some stations and may need to scale back some of its senior positions, as well.

"However, we will continue to equip those stations. They will have fire trucks in them and whenever we have periods where we have high risks, high threats to our community, we will recall crews to staff those stations."

The news come amid broader conversations in the community about consolidating the county and city's departments or at least increasing cooperation between the two.