When an emergency strikes, the public isn’t thinking about their fire department’s shift staffing levels. They are expecting a timely response from firefighters and EMS personnel to perform life-saving procedures or prevent property loss. Unfortunately, the challenges of ensuring adequate coverage in public safety can be lost on those who do not experience it day in day out. However, both public safety personnel and community members are feeling its impact.
Understaffed fire departments are a major problem experienced by agencies across the country. As fire service leaders advocate for more hiring and more personnel per shift, how are stations filling gaps in staffing? They’re relying on mutual aid partners and performing fire department callbacks.