Oroville fire department protests proposed cuts Tuesday night

POSTED: 10:00 PM Jun 18 2013
Oroville fire department protests proposed cuts Tuesday night

Oroville firefighters were in front of city hall Tuesday night protesting proposed cuts totaling more than $400,000 to their department.

Three scenarios have been proposed to trim the money from the fire department's budget.

One would make the police chief acting head of the fire department and police department.

Another would include laying off a battalion chief and handing those duties over to the fire chief.

Both scenarios would not equal the more than $400,000 budget reduction goal.

It is the third scenario, which reaches or exceeds the budget reduction goal, that has firefighters protesting.

"The department is already understaffed," said fire engineer Aaron Copeland, who's also president of the local firefighter's union. "We're down two line-positions and we're also down two administrators. And the proposal is to cut an additional administrator and three firefighters."

Fire engineer Tyler Mallinger says with only one station operating in the city, the public will notice if there are more cuts to staffing.

"The reduced service will impact them," says Mallinger. "They will feel the difference. It doesn't allow us to even have enough firefighters to staff the station in it's current configuration, which is already reduced."

Which approach the city decides to take is still to be seen.

The Oroville City Council is scheduled to meet and act on the budget at 1 p.m. Wednesday.