SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) -The Savannah Professional Firefighters Union says the fire and response will be much different once the City of Savannah follows through with cutting Engine 16 from the department. The union says the Engine helped fight a fire on Saturday morning.
The city says that if a situation calls for more resources that engine 16 could have provided, they would just pull from other stations around the city. However, the Savannah Firefighters Union says they don’t think it’s that simple, and that removing an engine like this could hurt the community.
The Savannah firefighters union says they think this will affect response times and possibly the resources that will need to respond to certain calls.
“We’ve got some pretty strong opinions on it and our leadership is lacking from whatever side whether it’s the city or the department,"said Johnny Hinton with the Savannah Firefighter’s Union. "The leadership isn’t there and the citizens again are paying the price for that.”
Engine 16 is the dual engine that has a pumper on it, as well as a marine boat for water rescues. The engine is being cut because of budget constraints and shifting resources.
“We pride ourselves in a four minute response," said Hinton. "Our first due personnel on the scene within four minutes and if those companies are coming into town to cover for an engine company no longer on service. Those response times will not be met.”
The City Manager says it is a goal to bring back the unit that operates the boat, but he won’t know if that’s a possibility until the budget comes out.