Calgary's fire department facing cuts
Calgary’s fire chief said his department has been asked to make $7.9 million in cuts even though they are currently failing to meet standards.
Chief Bruce Burrell said large amounts of cuts over the next three years will require the department to close two fire stations and cut more than 50 firefighting jobs.
"We're not currently meeting the standards; in fact we're falling further behind," Burrell said. "This would just speed up that process, of the downhill process we're in right now as far as meeting our response and service delivery targets."
With Calgary’s growing size and population Burrell worries there won’t be enough fire stations to adequately serve communities and adds that if anything they need a budget increase.
"We have no fire stations south of 22 but if you drive along 22 and you look south, there's a lot of communities," he said.
Mayor Naheed Nenshi said the city needs to find $140 million in spending cuts and most will be found through efficiencies.
However Burrell says the growing population and need for fire stations cannot be ignored.
"We have to come to grips with an agreement between council and the fire department about how the growth impacts of the city impact the growth of the fire department," Burrell said.
Nenshi said that all city managers will be asked to sharpen their pencils for this fall's budget debate.
The city council will finalize the budget for the next three years in November.