Our minimum manning is 3, not the best by any means. We operate 2 engines out of 1 house, we have 2 shifts with 7 and one with 8 members. With vacations and sick leave, we are many times at 6 per crew. Right now in our economic times, no relief is in sight. As a boss, I pay close attention everyday I walk in to how my crew is doing mentally and physically, trying to ensure all our safety. Hopefully things will improve.
Like everyone else, our department is trying to win the battle with city hall. We currently run an Officer, DE, and FF on every rig (total of two engines and two quints out of four stations). The city wants to reduce to two man engines, not backfill vacancies, and already closed our Ladder Co. in Dec. (was only staffed with two to begin with). In response, management and labor have combined efforts to create a Public Awareness Team to educate the public about service reducitons (Homeowners/condo associations, neighborhood/community groups, etc.) We'll see how it turns out come July. Until then, just gotta keep our heads up and keep doin a good job.
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