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Reno Fire Department Seeing Surge In Overtime

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Reno Fire Department
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The Reno Gazette-Journal recently reported that there’s been a surge in overtime pay at the Reno Fire Department. Reno Public Radio’s Anh Gray explores why.

So far this year, the department has spent 50 percent more on overtime than it did during the first half of last year.

Funding cuts a few years ago caused the lay-offs of more than thirty firefighters. Chief Dave Chochran says firefighters on staff are working more due to the personnel shortage.

“We have staffing vacancies that we’re trying to fill to get back up to level," he explains.

The department is also providing internal training to 31 recruits, which has been adding to overtime. But that will be reduced when those new firefighters begin work. Fifteen new firefighters will be ready to work by next month and the rest by summer.

Cochran says about $2.5 million has been budgeted for his department’s overtime pay and he doesn’t plan to exceed that.

Anh is a contributing editor for the KUNR news team and has been with the station since 2014. She is an alumna of the Boston University School of Public Health and Teachers College, Columbia University.
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