SAN JOSE, Calif. (KCBS) _ San Jose firefighters have released an audiotape that they claim shows city officials knew they were putting public safety at risk when they voted to eliminate five fire companies.

Veteran San Jose firefighter Robert Sapien said that during a presentation at an Orlando conference in May, Deputy Director Geoff Cady said he warned city officials of the impacts of reduced staffing.

“We believe this is another critical piece of information withheld from the public in an attempt to create a false sense of security about the impacts of losing five fire companies,” said Sapien.

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In his comments, Cady said “our current response time objective is eight minutes, 80 percent of the time…. we think we’re going to drop to 78 percent, so we’ll go below what is currently adopted as the standard for the city.”

San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed said it’s no secret that reduced staffing could mean longer response times.

“I don’t think anyone believes that you can do the same amount of work with 49 fewer firefighters,” Reed said. “No one has ever made that claim.”

Union members recently overwhelmingly rejected a proposal to rehire those laid off firefighters in exchange for an 8.9 percent wage concession.

  1. IAV says:

    What exactly is the controversy? Mayor Reed is right when he says that its no secret that reduced staffing could mean longer response time.

    The “controversy” should be the greed of the upper echelons of the SJFD — THEY put the city residents at risk by being greedy and caring more about cushy pensions that are far out of line with the public affordability than the jobs of rookies and safety of the citizens.

    Shame on every single “public servant” that cashes in over six figures at age 50. Shame, Shame!

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