Fire commissioner: More cuts will affect service

    The commissioner says there is already a shortage of paramedics in the city. He’s working on bring more medics into the program by the end of June. For now vacant shifts are being covered by overtime.

    Philadelphia’s Fire Commissioner says he’s worried what would happen if his department gets its budget cut again.

    During City Council budget hearings, Fire Commissioner Lloyd Ayers admitted the department’s close to two hundred million dollar budget has been pared to the bone. He’s concerned about any more cuts coming down as a result of the city’s financial problems.

    If further budget reductions were made, the effects on the levels of service that the fire department currently provides would be significant. An additional reduction of $14.5 million, or 7.5 percent, would require the deactivation or brown outs of four engine companies, two ladder companies and five medic units.”

    The commissioner says there is also a shortage of paramedics in the city. He’s working on bring more medics into the program by the end of June. For now vacant shifts are being covered by overtime.

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