Tucson firefighters address staffing issue, increase an assaults

TUCSON, Ariz. - Tucson Fire says their difficult jobs recently became even more so. They're now taking to social media to address staffing issues. 

Mario Carrasco with the Tucson Firefighters Association says the fire department is short-staffed, and the firefighters are being assaulted in certain parts of town. He says over the past year is when he has seen an increase in assaults.

"TPD was there on the spot, it wasn't that big of a deal," Carrasco said. "But now, we've got assaults and TPD doesn't have the units to send to us, now it's a huge deal."

Firefighters are now learning self defense, Carrasco says.

"In this day and age, who would have thought that firefighters have to learn how to disarm somebody, how to take a weapon away from somebody."

Carrasco says these problems aren't new - and now, they're taking it directly to the public.

Last month, the Firefighters Association posted on Instagram mentioning the increase in assaults and called for staffing issues to be addressed.

 

Another Tucson Fire Fighter was injured today on a scene after multiple calls for assistance. As an extremely intoxicated pt. became violent and started fighting with crews, they immediately called for TPD assistance. Thankfully nearby Fire units heard the distress call and responded to the scene to help assist our crews to safety and secure the pt. for safe transport. The challenges our public safety personnel are facing in Tucson continue to rise and are more dangerous each day. These types of attacks are becoming routine. Our police officers and fire fighters are absolutely stretched too thin and simply cannot manage the growing call volume in Tucson. These staffing levels have got to be addressed immediately before any more public servants are injured.

A post shared by Tucson Fire Fighters (@tucsonfirefighters) on

 

The FFA worked with city officials to get pay raises earlier this year.

RELATED: Tucson Firefighter Association calling on City to supply more firefighters

"Now we want them to sit down with the city manager and say, how can you make our operations more efficient?" City Councilman Steve Kozachik says. "Don't just be firing bombs over social media. Sit down at the table and let's have a productive conversation."

Around 30 firefighters are expected to start an academy class in August, which will help staffing issues. 

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