Davis firefighters picketed in front of Davis City Hall on Tues. Oct 1 from 3-6 p.m to raise awareness about recent changes to the fire department that they feel results in declining safety for Davis residents and firefighters.
The press release from the firefighter’s union, L3494, states that the firefighters want to ensure that the citizens of Davis are aware of current and expected changes in the fire department. The union represents the 36 firefighters employed by the City of Davis.
The City of Davis Fire Department (CDFD) has a list of concerns including reductions in staff, lack of a permanent fire chief, increase in overtime hours for firefighters and the possibility of closing the downtown CDFD station.
Bobby Weist, president of the L3494 union said that the CDFD currently has two police chiefs running the fire department and making major decisions. Additionally, Weist said, due to reduced staffing, Davis firefighters have had to work overtime.
“In a normal year before the reduced staffing, 45 firefighters had 5,000 hours of overtime. In the last fiscal year, 2012-2013, 36 worked 18,000 hours of overtime, which is on average 500 hours per firefighter,” Weist said.
Additionally, the CDFD has been collaborating with the UC Davis Fire Department, however a full merger has not happened yet.
“We are trying to get info out to citizens because most don’t know what’s happening and how it will affect them,” Weist said.
— Paayal Zaveri