Study: Trimming Fire Truck Crews Could Save Millions

Sunday, July 15th 2007, 2:55 pm
By: News On 6

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) -- A study of the fire department in Nebraska's largest city cites Tulsa, Oklahoma, as an example of how Omaha could save millions of dollars by cutting firefighter positions.

Among large Midwestern cities, Tulsa and Wichita, Kansas, operate with three firefighters per truck. Because of a union contract and city ordinance passed in 2000, Omaha is required to have four per truck.

The study from the Matrix Consulting Group notes that because most calls are for medical emergencies, not fires, using three firefighters per truck is more efficient.

Omaha City Council President Dan Welch says his city would be best served by a smaller-staffed, flexible department that emphasizes medical response.