Tucson Fire considers 'brownouts' as solution to budget issues - Tucson News Now

Tucson Fire considers 'brownouts' as solution to budget issues

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TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - Every second matters when there is an emergency.  So how would residents feel if the fire department could not respond as quickly to their home?  

That could happen in the City of Tucson, as fire leaders are considering something called a 'brownout'. What exactly does this mean - fewer firefighters on the job. Fire leaders say budget cuts are to blame for the possible 'brownout'.  

Here is how the 'brownout' works - by protocol - fire trucks must be staffed by four firefighters, in order to hit its budget for the year.  Tucson Fire Department does not have the money to pay that many firefighters.  That means some trucks will have to be taken out of service.  Fire leaders say this could impact the entire city. 

City leaders say TFD would not be in this situation if leaders were up front about what could happen.  

"Rolling brownouts is not an acceptable management solution. It's reactive yet again," said Tucson City Council member Steve Kozachik. "If it had been proposed during our budget discussions, it would've changed the whole nature of the conversation." 

In an email TFD officials say the 'brownout' plan would not go into place until the city has been briefed on it.  

As for how much money TFD says it would need to solve the issue - $1.5 million. 

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