Firefighters Concerned About Equipment, Staffing

MAY 16, 2006 -- Along with hoses and water, fighting fires takes courage and determination. Besides that, a group of Wilmington firefighters say the city needs more people in the department.

The concerns voiced by two dozen firefighters Monday are outlined in a letter. It details their frustrations over slow approval of more manpower and equipment. That's coupled with the department losing on average 14 people a year since 2002.

Their complaints come as the fire department undergoes an assessment by an outside firm. Firefighters who are voicing concerns about understaffing and out of service trucks say they're talking now, during the assessment, to help bring about a more open discussion.

Those within the department say the assessment will examine the group's concerns. The city says $13,000 will go the consulting firm to conduct one-on-one interviews.

Reported by Joe Keiley