Kern County Fire Department staffing cuts may be delayed after community outcry

Posted at 7:19 AM, Jan 15, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-15 10:31:10-05

Proposed staffing cuts to mountain community fire departments may be delayed after outcry from the community. 

In a post on their Facebook page Friday the union said, "

"Good news for now....The proposed cuts to staffing at 9 of your Kern County Fire Stations has been "delayed" at this time...Largely in part to the citizens of the various communities that were to be affected. You were definitely heard..!!...Thank you for your support and future support as this fight is not over..This is a team effort between you, the public, and your local firefighters..!!...We will continue to provide updates as more information becomes available."

Staffing cuts were proposed to nine stations due to a $17 million county budget deficit with officials calling for mountain community fire stations to reduce crews from three men down to two. 

"I absolutely disagree with what's going on right now and so do all of our members," said Derek Robinson, the President of the Kern County Firefighters Union. "The last ten 10 years our call volume has increased 43 percent so there's definitely a need."

While no firefighters would be losing their jobs, there is concern from the community that less staff could mean a greater safety risk. 

Kern County Fire Chief Brian Marshall said the department is looking to save on overtime and recover financially from the Erskine wildfire. 

KCFD has not confirmed the delays at this time.