Photo: FLLewis/A Writer’s Groove
UPDATE: Daily minimum staffing for Burbank firefighters will be reduced from a high of 38 last year to 36 on Monday, July 13. This will not result in any layoffs.
Times are tough. The city of Burbank is tightening its financial belt. I understand all of that, still it doesn’t seem smart to cutback the fire department in the heat of a dry summer. Yet, that is just what’s happening in Burbank.
As part of a city council mandated reduction of 5 percent for every department, two firefighters will be let go on Monday, according to a story on The Burbank Leader website today. The cutback reportedly reduces the fire crew ranks down to 36. It’s a balancing act. I heard some loud grumbling about an earlier decision to take Engine 14 out of service as a way to save money. Bumping two firefighters will now allow Engine 14 to roll back into action.
The fire department is reportedly trying to whack $1.27 million from its budget. Oh, the cutbacks probably look great on paper, but the Burbank Fire Department is already a trim operation. Now it will be down two firefighters and that makes me wonder if public safety is taking a back seat to balancing the budget.