Tag archive for IAFF

Should idle firefighters be turned into police officers or doctors?

Fires and Firefighters.png
As this chart from marginalrevolution.com shows, structure fires in America have declined dramatically over the decades, but the number of firefighters has continued to rise, even during the recent recession. This has left local governments with an excess of idle fire personnel. What to do? Communities could look to reduce personnel, but there are limits on how low firefighter complements can go, and not only because of pressure from firefighters unions. After a certain point, shutting down firehouses pushes up response times. And though, even in the case of medical emergencies, researchers have cast doubt on the low-response-time imperative, certainly minutes matter to the public.