Union: Frequent closing of fire station ‘unsafe and unacceptable'

The union representing the city of Dayton’s firefighters said residents will be in danger if the city does not increase staffing


Dayton Daily News 

DAYTON, Ohio — The union representing the city of Dayton’s firefighters said residents will be in danger if the city does not increase staffing.

For years, the city has been “browning out,” or temporarily closing stations based on staffing.

Fire Station 10 was open Monday, but it was closed Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

International Association of Fire Fighters Local 136 posted on its Facebook page that “inconsistency is unreliable, unsafe and unacceptable” and urged people to call Dayton’s City Hall.

The station serves the city’s Edgemont and Carillon neighborhoods and University of Dayton Arena.

Local 136 President Steve Dunham said there will be longer response times in that area, and that it all comes down to staffing.

“Everybody’s being overworked. All the medics are just running constantly,” he said.

The city of Dayton said the Dayton Fire Department staffs a minimum of seven engines, four ladder trucks, seven medic units, two district chiefs and one incident support unit with 61 personnel. ... When more than 61 are available, the city department staffs more stations.

Since 2012, the station at 1234 S. Broadway St. has closed when there is not enough staff available. However, Dunham said it has been getting worse.

“Right now I think we’re at 85 percent in service and it could possibly go as low as 20 percent in service,” he said.

Dunham said 14 new firefighters graduated in June. But the department lost 16 firefighters by the end of the month.

Some residents said they are concerned.

“Ain’t nothing to save us. By the time (station) 13 gets to us, everything will be burned down. So if that’s low staffing, they need to hire somebody, said Eurma Seldom.

Dunham said the union has meetings scheduled with Mayor Nan Whaley at the end of the week and City Manager Shelley Dickstein early next week.

“Hopefully we can work something out,” Dunham said.

Copyright 2018 Dayton Daily News 

 

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