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City of Alameda Lays-Off Firefighters – Daily Staffing Down to 21 from 27

For Immediate Media Release 
City of Alameda Laying Off Firefighters
6 MAY 2009 

Alameda Firefighters have been working diligently to provide accurate information to the Citizens and Business owners in the Ciy of Alameda regarding the City’s unilateral action of implementing “Brownouts” since January 26 2009. The level of service was reduced from 27 firefighters on duty daily to 24, and essentially closed a fire engine and fire station. With the release of the “cut list” today, the City intends to further reduce the level of service in Alameda by reducing staffing from 24 firefighters on duty a day to 2 or 21 by closing another emergency response apparatus and laying off 3 firefighters. A reduction that severe represents a 23% decrease in Fire and Emergency services at a time when demands for service are at an all time high. This further reduction in level of service will be implemented without the opportunity for public comment, with no end in sight.

With the implementation of the closures, response times have already decayed to a level worse than originally anticipated by the Fire Chief. The additional measures being implemented will likely prove catastrophic as it is only a matter of time before resources cannot handle the average daily response load. The firefighters know the impacts of the existing and proposed closures and are trying to educate the community on just where hat risk is going to end up. It is very simple; it will end up ON THOSE EXPERIENCING AN EMERGENCY AND THOSE WHO ARE RESPONDING TO HELP THEM.

The firefighters have offered solutions, which include no raises, controlling costs, and re‐organization of departmental functions that would further limit future City liability WITHOUT IMPACTING THE DAILY DELIVERY OF EERGENCY SERVICE. Unfortunately the solutions offered are not enough.

The cuts are to be implemented on June 1 2009. The firefighters will continue to meet with City Staff to keep serving the community; however, all must be aware that the fire and emergency resources are spread thinner than they have been in nearly 133 years.

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