By Alexander Douglas |Staff Writer|
Ten percent of firefighters in San Bernardino left the city to find jobs elsewhere, according to The San Bernardino Sun.
Besides he fire department, the San Bernardino Police Department (SBPD) has also taken a hit in the last few years. Approximately 50 officers leaving the department between 2013 and 2014. This increased the turnover rate to six percent, according to The San Bernardino Sun.
The number of police officers leaving the SBPD since San Bernardino declared bankruptcy has nearly doubled, according to The San Bernardino Sun.
The San Bernardino Sun also reported that the city proposed $84 million in spending and about $7 million in budget cuts for police and fire departments in 2014.
Firefighters have said that the fire department has gone from a dream department to a stepping stone before they move on to another job, according to The San Bernardino Sun.
According to Jarrod Burguan who is the SBPD police chief, officers are leaving to find jobs elsewhere.
The San Bernardino City Council is scheduled to look at a contract from The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE), San Bernardino County Fire and private fire agencies, according to ABC7 Eyewitness News.
This proposed contract could help assist the San Bernardino City Fire Department to obtain employees to fill the positions that have been left vacant.
The city has also suggested outsourcing to other fire organizations and public safety offices for months.
Since the discussion of outsourcing began in the fire department, ten more firefighters have left.
One former firefighter, Batallion Chief Nathaniel Cooke said, “I think you’re going to see a mass exodus from the city of San Bernardino Fire Department. First and foremost, the morale is the lowest I’ve ever seen it, and I was there approximately 15 years,” according to The San Bernardino Sun.
When asked about the consequences of cutbacks, Mike Fascinato, a firefighter paramedic, said, “We have postponed a hose pressure test.”
Despite these budget problems the firefighters are still doing their part to help with the drought.
To conserve water, the San Bernardino City Fire Department has even stopped watering their fire station’s front lawn.
CSUSB students feel these cutbacks will have a negative effect on our mountainous area. With summer getting closer, the fire department will have their hands full with potential fire threats, leaving students worried for their safety.
“That sucks. Especially for this season. We need professionals to put out fires. The city is doing something wrong. They need them to help people feel safe. What the hell is the city doing?” said student Cesar Morales.
When asked what she thinks about the cutbacks, CSUSB student Kelsey Hamilton said, “It’s bad for the area. We are in a fire prone area.”
Fascinato also said they were looking for new water sources to help with the water shortage.