Columbia needs 95 new firefighters to meet industry standards

3 years 7 months 1 day ago Monday, February 27 2017 Feb 27, 2017 Monday, February 27, 2017 2:51:00 PM CST February 27, 2017 in News
By: Daniel Litwin, KOMU 8 Reporter
loading

COLUMBIA - New nationwide standards for staffing fire departments suggest Columbia needs 95 more firefighters.

This number comes from revisions to the National Fire Protection Association guidelines, specifically guideline 1710, which addresses "effective and efficient organization and deployment" of firefighters.

"For everything a fire department does, there's a correlating NFPA standard," said Kurt Becker, District Field Service Representative for the International Association of Fire Fighters.

The NFPA's guideline for staffing firetrucks was revised in 2010, saying all professional fire departments should have no less than four firefighters on every truck in high-hazard areas.

For high-hazard areas, which includes practically all of downtown Columbia and the University of Missouri's campus, the city has been running trucks with three firefighters.

"For the last seven years, we've been operating at 75% of what the industry standard requires," Becker said.

In 2016, 1710 was changed again, raising the minimum to six firefighters per truck in high-hazard areas.

Changes to guidelines occur about every five years, and 1710 was adapted after studies were released with updated firefighting requirements for high-rises.

Brad Fraizer, Assistant Fire Chief of Columbia, said his department isn't seeing a lack of interested potential hires.

"We don't have a shortage of applicants, we're fortunate that we have a large number of people typically apply," Fraizer said.

The issue comes down to having a tight budget, and Fraizer said the department is fully staffed under their budgeted staffing model.

"We work with funds that were given, and we balance out resources with the need,"  Fraizer said.

To reach the new minimum set by the NFPA, Columbia's fire department would have to hire 62 new firefighters. Having 95 new personnel would help cover absences in the work force, such as illnesses and vacation.

"If you only have 62 guys on a shift and the minimum is 62, then you'll spend an outrageous amount on overtime, and you'll burn your guys out," Becker said.

Fraizer said there's no disagreement between the department and the labor group that more firefighters would be beneficial.

"It's certainly a goal that all departments strive for and we're no different. It's just a matter of available funds," said Fraizer.

"We're not pointing fingers at anybody, nobody has done anything negligent or wrong. We're looking forward to having some collaborative and constructive dialogue with the city," Becker said. "We believe the data and the science backs up the proposal we've made, and we're very willing to see what the city has to say.

Union and city officials plan to meet in April to discuss the staffing issues and budget allocations.

 

More News

Grid
List
COLUMBIA- UPDATE 6:30 P.M: CPS Athletic Director David Egan confirmed Battle will play at Moberly Friday night at 7 p.m.... More >>
19 hours ago Monday, September 28 2020 Sep 28, 2020 Monday, September 28, 2020 6:00:00 PM CDT September 28, 2020 in News
OSAGE COUNTY— Three people were rescued from the Osage River on Saturday after their pontoon boat got stuck in the... More >>
19 hours ago Monday, September 28 2020 Sep 28, 2020 Monday, September 28, 2020 5:51:00 PM CDT September 28, 2020 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - A New York Times report shows President Donald Trump paid $750 in federal income taxes in 2016... More >>
20 hours ago Monday, September 28 2020 Sep 28, 2020 Monday, September 28, 2020 5:11:00 PM CDT September 28, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA- Boone County deputies are currently investigating a shots fired incident that occurred on Mauller Road Monday afternoon. The... More >>
20 hours ago Monday, September 28 2020 Sep 28, 2020 Monday, September 28, 2020 4:33:00 PM CDT September 28, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - The Missouri Students Association (MSA) will host a public, full senate meeting Tuesday over Zoom and Facebook. ... More >>
20 hours ago Monday, September 28 2020 Sep 28, 2020 Monday, September 28, 2020 4:28:00 PM CDT September 28, 2020 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Two Whaley's Pharmacy locations will host drive-thru flu shot clinics in the upcoming weeks. The first... More >>
21 hours ago Monday, September 28 2020 Sep 28, 2020 Monday, September 28, 2020 3:47:00 PM CDT September 28, 2020 in News
JEFFERSON CITY- Governor Parson announced Missouri expanded its COVID-19 dashboards Monday afternoon. The new dashboards provide information about different... More >>
21 hours ago Monday, September 28 2020 Sep 28, 2020 Monday, September 28, 2020 3:22:00 PM CDT September 28, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA- The University of Missouri Police Department responded to a report of a 'threatening person with a knife' at Lee... More >>
23 hours ago Monday, September 28 2020 Sep 28, 2020 Monday, September 28, 2020 2:03:00 PM CDT September 28, 2020 in News
(CNN) -- Millions of Americans will vote by mail or in person for the next president of the US. At... More >>
1 day ago Monday, September 28 2020 Sep 28, 2020 Monday, September 28, 2020 12:38:43 PM CDT September 28, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - The Columbia Fire Department is reducing their interaction with patients and other responders to protect everyone from COVID-19... More >>
1 day ago Monday, September 28 2020 Sep 28, 2020 Monday, September 28, 2020 11:27:00 AM CDT September 28, 2020 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Governor Mike Parson ordered the Missouri State Capitol dome and the Missouri Governor's Mansion to shine red... More >>
1 day ago Monday, September 28 2020 Sep 28, 2020 Monday, September 28, 2020 11:15:00 AM CDT September 28, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA- Columbia Police responded to four separate reports of shots fired in the area of Eastwood Drive and Clark Lane... More >>
1 day ago Monday, September 28 2020 Sep 28, 2020 Monday, September 28, 2020 10:59:00 AM CDT September 28, 2020 in News
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Prosecutors say a 32-year-old Kansas City man who was shot by a police officer... More >>
1 day ago Monday, September 28 2020 Sep 28, 2020 Monday, September 28, 2020 10:53:06 AM CDT September 28, 2020 in News
As COVID-19 continues to spread, KOMU 8 will continue to update you about impacts in the community. Previous coverage: ... More >>
1 day ago Monday, September 28 2020 Sep 28, 2020 Monday, September 28, 2020 9:00:00 AM CDT September 28, 2020 in News
MEXICO - A food trailer was destroyed and two houses were damaged after a trailer caught fire in a Mexico... More >>
1 day ago Monday, September 28 2020 Sep 28, 2020 Monday, September 28, 2020 8:49:00 AM CDT September 28, 2020 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - It came out late Friday that the First Lady of Missouri’s isolation period will end Monday. ... More >>
1 day ago Monday, September 28 2020 Sep 28, 2020 Monday, September 28, 2020 6:11:00 AM CDT September 28, 2020 in Continuous News
Columbia business sees financial relief thanks to MU football game Fans mean just as much to Columbia businesses... More >>
1 day ago Monday, September 28 2020 Sep 28, 2020 Monday, September 28, 2020 5:07:00 AM CDT September 28, 2020 in Top Stories
GLASGOW - Part of our nation's pastime, can present a problem when it comes to some of the greatest players... More >>
1 day ago Sunday, September 27 2020 Sep 27, 2020 Sunday, September 27, 2020 11:30:00 PM CDT September 27, 2020 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 63°
2pm 63°
3pm 64°
4pm 65°
5pm 65°