HOUSTON - "The fire department is stretched thin and has been stretched thin," said District 28 Fire Chief A. Garcia. "We seem to be getting stretched even thinner."
HFD arson and HPD homicide are both investigating a house fire at 6400 Burgoyne after a man's body was found inside the home.
"It's disheartening you don't have enough crews on scene to search every inch of the house. It's frustrating these companies that you call when you call in extra, they're running emergency traffic, they're having trouble getting here. Once they get here, we still have to extinguish the fire," Garcia said.
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"We have 400 fewer firefighters than we had a decade ago, and yet we are running hundreds of thousands of more calls today and we don't have enough firefighters and paramedics to staff every piece of apparatus on a normal staffing day," said Marty Lancton, President of the Houston Professional Firefighters Association.
Proposition B, which would have increased pay for firefighters, remains tied up in court,
"If we had more units in service and not have low manpower issues every day, then maybe we would have more units here, and maybe we would have gotten here a little quicker. But we're stuck with units being browned out of service," the district chief said.
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"If there's a piece of apparatus that is browned out of service at a station that is two blocks away from you, that means there's no apparatus to come help you," Lancton said. "Someone has to come from a station that is even farther away when every second matters."