Budget Cuts Turning Up the Heat on Firefighters

By: Jessica Zartler Email
By: Jessica Zartler Email

City budget cuts are turning up the heat on Grand Junction firefighters. The fire department says it's having to cut it's budget by three to four percent and it can't hire any new staff.

Other cutbacks include a freeze on hiring two EMS training positions, projects to upgrade technology on fire trucks and the department is cancelling its fall fire training academy.

The fire chief says it has all of the stations staffed but as Grand Junction grows and call levels increase, it may take firefighters longer to respond to emergencies.

"We could have situations where we have multiple calls going and at the same time, so we would have to either break units away from existing calls to respond, or we would have longer response times because we would be sending units from farther stations," Grand Junction Fire Chief Ken Watkins told 11 News on Tuesday.

The Grand Junction Fire Department will release it's annual report showing how much calls have increased and response times later this week.

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