Atwater Fire Department discusses staffing shortages as city’s population grows

ATWATER, California (KFSN) – The Atwater Fire Department is sharing details of staff shortages to show how its current levels could make citizens vulnerable when needed.

The city of Atwater is home to more than 30,000 people and is growing.

On duty 365 days a year are a total of four firefighters responding to medical emergencies, road accidents, fires and more.

“It raises concerns about the fire service and its ability to serve these citizens and provide a good level of service,” said Bobby Ayuso, chief of the Atwater Fire Brigade.

The National Fire Protection Association requires engine companies to be staffed with at least 4 members in service.

Atwater fills it with two firefighters at each of their two stations.

However, some service calls require at least four firefighters to respond.

This means both stations can be connected a call.

“Once they are committed to this incident, they are committed there and we rely on our neighborhood services to support and manage these incidents if we have anything to do during this time frame,” Bath said. Leader Agioso.

In 2021, the fire department responded to a total of 4,800 calls.

Of those, 350 asked the two stations to respond. That included last August, when Gurpal Samra was involved in a serious multi-vehicle accident on Highway 99.

“I broke, well, 6 ribs, I collapsed my lung,” said Samra.

The Atwater Fire, along with many surrounding services, helped rescue Samra from the car and transport him to the hospital.

“I will never forget in my life what our first correspondents did for me that day,” Samra said.

While Atwater Fire may have saved Samra’s life while she was there, the department was unable to answer other calls.

Fire officials say this will continue to happen if they remain at current staffing levels.

Measure H, a half-minute sales tax that helps fund public safety, will also reach sunset, which means less funding for police and firefighters.

Atwater Mayor and City Council President Paul Creighton says the city has createdLet’s Talk Atwaterhoping to hear from residents to determine what they want to do next.

“We really want everyone in our community to contact us and tell us what’s going on, what they want as far as the new tax measure is concerned or if things are as they are. “We really do not believe it is, we really need to do something and that is why we are having this debate.” said Creighton.

Atwater residents can give feedback to city officials by completing a survey on the city’s website. You can find a link to it from by clicking here.

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Atwater Fire Department discusses staffing shortages as city’s population grows Source link Atwater Fire Department discusses staffing shortages as city’s population grows

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