The City of Reno will be laying off firefighters and closing a fire station after millions of dollars in federal grant money failed to materialize.
The Reno Fire Department had requested 12 million dollars to continue paying 50-grant funded firefighters. Chief Michael Hernandez says he had been planning for the day the grant would run out and had already eliminated some positions through attrition. Now the notice has arrived. There is not enough funding for next year.
He says the department will close a station in the northwest, lay off 35 firefighters by July 1st and some captains will have to go because there won’t be as many firefighters.
“At this point we are working off a worse case scenario. So we know that there are going to be 35 firefighters that are going to be impacted. As we move through the budget process that may save one or two positions we will explore those.”
Response times for the northwest Reno area covered by the closed fire station are expected to double to 6 minutes. During times of high fire danger, the stations will have emergency staffing.