AFD expresses public safety concern over budget shortfall

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The Anchorage Fire Department says to deal with overtime pay issues it's now taking fire equipment out of service when someone calls in sick, is out for an injury or other circumstance.

For instance, if a firefighter who works on a fire truck called in sick, AFD says that truck would be taken out of service rather than pay someone overtime to come in and fill that person's spot. If needed, firefighters would have to use a truck from the next closest station to fill the void and say that could mean a possible response delay.

"It puts a lot of pressure on us for that as well, as for either providing EMS or for car accidents or for structure fires," said AFD Local 1264 Union President Mike Stumbaugh. "We don't have the manpower we need and we should. But the bigger pressure is we feel like we let the city down, the citizens, the taxpayers that we're not able to provide the service they want."

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