Redding Fire Dept. Staffing Levels Too Low

Based on a nationally recognized standard called NFPA 1710 fire engines are supposed to be staffed with 4 fire fighters. The Redding Fire Department only staffs their engines with 2 fire fighters.

Posted: Nov 1, 2018 6:00 PM

REDDING, Calif - Nine months ago late Redding Fire Chief Gerry Gray posted a video on youtube where he held up an old newspaper article with the headline that reads, "Firechief admits too few firemen."

That headline was from 1972 but as Gray states in the video, the situation in Redding has not improved.

Five out of the Eight fire engines are staffed with two firefighters.

But a National Fire Protection Association report says fire engines are supposed to be staffed with at least four firefighters.

Earlier this week, NFPA officials said the city needs more money to meet that goal.

" I feel it's time those citizens support those firefighters and help them move towards safer staffing levels. I realize that this costs money and that's the big issue isn't it."

Action News Now spoke with vice mayor Francie Sullivan about how much money the city needs to make a difference.

She says 80-percent of the city's budget already goes to the police and fire department but understands they need more help.

They've tried a sales tax increase.

"The last sales tax was a half-cent additional sales tax and that would have generated at the time two years ago,11 million dollars."

But the community voted it down.

So as the Redding City Councils continues to push to help firefighters with future funding Sullivan asks the public this question.

"A question for our community is, Do we think we're worth paying more for more police and firefighters?"

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A fire weather watch has been issued from 1pm Monday to 11am Wednesday in the Valley and foothills due to dry and gusty conditions. We'll warm up next week but next weekend is looking much much cooler and wet.
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