San Jose Fire Department Braces For Rolling Brownouts This Summer

SAN JOSE (KCBS) – With more firefighter layoffs on the horizon, the San Jose Fire Department may be forced to reduce staffing levels at stations starting this summer.

Starting in July, officials said they may begin using rolling brownouts, which means on any given day, either a fire truck or engine will be out of service at one of four fire stations.

“We’re still going to have coverage, but we’re just not going to have that additional resource for that day,” said department spokesman Captain Scott Kouns.

KCBS’ Matt Bigler Reports:

He said the unfortunate aspect of the brownouts is that it will likely mean a slower response time to some fires.

“We’re still going to be able to respond to fires. But there’s going to be a delay with some of them coming from another location farther away,” Kouns said.

The brownouts are a cost cutting move, as the cash-strapped city prepares to lay off five firefighters. That’s on top of the 49 that were cut last year.

San Jose resident Rachel Cervantes is one of many concerned about the cuts, especially with the possibility of multiple fires at a time.

“I think it’s horrible. There’s going to be a possibility of injury if there aren’t enough firemen,” she said.

The plan for brownouts isn’t official yet as the department continues to look at all of its options.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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