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South Tucson reserve firefighters resigning

Posted at 5:47 AM, Feb 12, 2018
and last updated 2018-02-12 23:24:09-05

Nearly half of the reserve firefighters in South Tucson say they've had enough with how their station is run. Twenty two of its reserve firefighters announced they'll resign in two weeks.

Over the last year, South Tucson has been fighting cuts to public safety including South Tucson Police Department. Starting in March, South Tucson says it can't fully staff the fire engine anymore.

The South Tucson Fire Department has only one engine, and it usually carries four firefighters. With the current budget cuts starting March 1, 2018, the engine is only able to staff three firefighters.

The firefighters resigning say having three to an engine isn't safe, so they're walking out.

As of last year, South Tucson had a more than $600,000 budget deficit, and the city's police and fire departments were concerned there could be layoffs.

South Tucson says other cities charge insurance companies for their service, but South Tucson does not, which is one reason the costs for the fire department are so high.

The City of South Tucson says it's working on a solution to make sure safety of the citizens is not compromised, but it has not announced the plans to cover staffing just yet.