SPOKANE -- A new contract with the Firefighters Union has the City of Spokane looking to make up a $1 million dollars in its budget.
Spokane Fire Chief Bobby Williams suggests taking Fire Engine 9 out of service. The engine serves the Manito neighborhood on Spokane’s South Hill. Rescue Number 1, a two-person medic response team, would then relocate from downtown to the newly vacant Station 9.
Carolyn Longanecker, lives in the affected area and was severely burned in a house fire. She sustained burns over 70-percent of her body in a matter of seconds, and said she does not support any move that could increase fire response times.
“It’s a crazy idea,” Longanecker said.
Spokane Communications Director Marlene Feist assured if Fire Engine 9 is taken out of service, the City would still achieve its fire response time goal which is eight minutes and 30 seconds 90% of the time.
Feist said about 80% of the 911 calls to Spokane’s fire stations are medical calls.
Spokane City Council members will discuss the Chief’s proposal at their meeting Monday night, at which Longanecker plan to speak.
Twelve firefighting positions would be lost if the City Council okays the plan.