University City approves cuts to fire department - KMOV.com

University City approves cuts to fire department

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A revised city council budget, approved on Monday, will cut six positions in the University City Fire Department.

Last week News 4 learned University City is not meeting its own minimum requirements when it comes to firefighters staffing.

Under city police, the fire department is supposed to have 45 firefighters, but currently only 31 are on active duty. Recently, the fire department was forced to hold back fire trucks due to understaffing and were able to answer all calls with the help of surrounding communities.

“It's a big deal and its really running the first responders here thin and we feel like it's a situation where taxpayers are paying for something they're not really receiving,” said firefighter union president Kurt Becker. “For whatever reason at city hall, the fire chief was told you can't hire workers for your fire trucks because there's other stuff going on.”

Firefighters are currently working overtime, but gaps in coverage remain. Nobody from city hall spoke to News 4 on camera but News 4 was told city officials are trying to come up with a new budget for the fired department after a tax increase was rejected by voters in April.

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