The chief of Rochester's Fire Department is responding after some fallout from the start of the new dynamic staffing effort.
The “Brown Out” — as it's called by some — took effect Monday evening, shutting down fire station Engine 1 from 6 p.m. to 8 a.m.
Spectrum News caught up with Engine 1 back on the road Tuesday, working hard and responding to calls.
The fire chief spent time reviewing calls for service following a busy night for first responders. Chief Willie Jackson responded with statement that reads, in part:
“Last evening, the Rochester Fire Department began to implement dynamic staffing. Reviewing the data of RFD’s response times for service calls last evening it is clear that there was no impact on response times or public safety. I will continue to review data from this initiative..."
City spokesperson Justin Roj says the city is confident this plan will work.
“There's concern and people are understandably concerned. But what they should understand is that there is more than adequate coverage within the city of Rochester to allow dynamic staffing to occur without affecting public safety or response times and we can do so in a way that saves taxpayer dollars and that's what we did last night, the chief's already said in a statement that that had no impact on public safety response times last night so the early returns are of course positive,” said Roj.
The city says it will save $1.2 million a year and that the plan allows the city to maintain the fire department’s budget.