Trenton Introduces Rolling Firehouse Closures [AUDIO]
New Jersey's Capitol is trying to maintain vital emergency services with a controversial move...so-called, "rolling firehouse closings."
It means that certain stations in Trenton's fire department will be closed on days when staffing levels are low. Firefighters union officials says it is just another compromise of public safety brought on by budget cuts. They are still smarting form the layoffs of firefighters, not only in Trenton, but other Jersey cities with big money problems. Since the year 2002, Trenton has closed three firehouse in the city.
But Bill Dressel of the New Jersey League of Municipalities says, this plan will allow Trenton to designate certain days when a given firehouse will be open in a particular section of the city without closing that firehouse completely. He calls a total closing, "a very dramatic step."
Dressel concedes the firehouse brownouts are the best case of a worst-case fiscal scenario. A similar plan has also been tried in New York City. And at this point, no one in Trenton is quite sure exactly how the rolling closings will work or how they will be managed in a fire emergency.