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Response times need fix, alderman says

Shortcomings revealed in an annual report released by the city’s firedepartment will be fixed despite upcoming budget cuts, according to onealderman.

Shortcomings revealed in an annual report released by the city’s fire department will be fixed despite upcoming budget cuts, according to one alderman.

The report, slated to be presented to the city’s community and protective services committee on Wednesday, showed that in 2009, the goal of a seven-minute response time was only met 58.6 per cent of the time.

Despite the $60-million shortfall in the city’s budget, Ald. Ric McIver said these issues are a priority.

“I think that we need to make sure that the fire department’s budget is managed and kept whole so that we can get those response times to where they should be,” said Ald. Ric McIver.

Fire Chief Bruce Burrell told Metro earlier this week that while he has yet to find out a definite figure, they have been looking for areas of the budget to trim.

“The impact is obviously going to affect growth and potentially may impact the opening of some of the new stations in the future,” he said. “We don’t have an absolute picture of what that’s going to look like at the moment.”

While Burrell said he was notified over two weeks ago that cuts were forthcoming, McIver said he is working to ensure emergency response times don’t drop any further.

“It’s urgent, it’s necessary and we’ll do it. If I have anything to do with it, we’ll deal with that.”

 
 
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