Reporting Ian Schwartz
MARYSVILLE (CBS13) – The fire grant money has dried up and now the Marysville Fire Department has to cut staff.
Marysville will lose one firefighter to layoffs, while two others will be placed in new stations.
“It doesn’t mean fire engines won’t show up. It doesn’t mean we’re not going to respond to calls,” Chief Mike Carr said.
He says in a few days, the department will go from nine fulltime firefighters to only six each day. With fewer firefighters on scene, everyone will have to pick up the slack.
“When you minimize those numbers, in some regards, you do jeopardize the safety of those firefighters,” said Carr.
The department, which contracts with Cal Fire, received a $700,000 grant, but that grant money ran out before it could be renewed in August.
However, Carr says residents won’t notice any difference in their regular service. But in a fire where immediate danger or death isn’t involved — such as an empty building — things may take a little bit longer because they’ll have to wait for mutual aid.
“Oh I think it is scary,” said Deana Rentz.
She runs a clothing store downtown and wonders what less boots on a blaze would mean.
“For one thing, we are all in here pretty close, it could be a lot of businesses,” Rentz said of the possible that could occur at her place of business.
Marysville will apply for the grant again, but with budget battles in Washington, it’s hard to say if the money will be there.
However, these grants are just temporary and will not always be there. The mayor says the city needs to find more permanent fixes.
Cal Fire says no other departments are facing the type of grant cuts that Marysville is facing.