What's Carl DeMaio got against fire protection?
The city faced a tough public safety decision last summer: whether to continue with seventeen months of brownouts that left as many as eight fire engines idle every day. The limited resources had seen response times slip across San Diego, and ultimately, the council decided to restore the fire protection including the additional costs in overtime pay to compensate for staff reductions.
Nevertheless, Carl DeMaio blasted firefighters last week for working overtime to restore and maintain protection levels. Firefighters face a sticky dilemma in DeMaio's complaint. Since budget cuts supported and often pushed by DeMaio have led to staff reductions of 10%, preventing brownouts require working overtime. The head of the firefighters union explained it pretty clearly:
“We have cut our workforce down more than 10 percent, but we still need to have constant staffing,” De Clercq said. “We have to have people on these trucks to respond when people need our help.”